Global Health Asia-Pacific Issue 2 | 2023 - Page 53

Osteoporosis is widely considered a “ silent disease ”.
Age correlates with weaker bones The World Health Organization ( WHO ) reports that those aged 60 and above are expected to reach 2.1 billion by 2050 , over double the one billion recorded in 2020 . Malaysia is no exception . The World Bank recently declared that the country had reached ageing nation status since seven percent of its population had reached age 65 and above in 2020 . As a result , Dr Badrul predicts the number of osteoporosis cases will rise compared to a decade ago . “ The lifespan of the population continues to increase and will correlate with rising prevalence of osteoporosis-related injuries , such as fractures ,” he said .
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation ( IOF ) in Switzerland , osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually , with one occurring every three seconds . The global burden of bone disease has significantly increased , with the number of individuals at high risk of fracture expected to double by 2040 from 158 million in 2010 . According to research published by the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research in 2021 , the global prevalence of osteoporosis among older men and women is 12.5 percent and 35.3 percent , respectively .
Types of fractures Dr Badrul explained that common areas such as the wrist , hip , and spine were the most prone to fracture injuries . “ For example , the most frequent wrist fracture is the Colles fracture which can be caused when someone with osteoporosis tries to catch their fall by stretching out their hand ,” he said .
He warned that hip fractures were more severe , as any movement under these circumstances could induce pain , causing the patient to be immobile . “ Prolonged bed rest can lead to bedsores , which are injuries to the skin area exposed to continuous pressure due to constantly lying down , and orthostatic pneumonia , an acute respiratory infection affecting the lungs that can lead to death ,” he explained . While past studies indicate that the survival rate of patients with hip fractures is less than five years , modern medicine has paved the way for easy treatment of the condition with fixation and hip replacement , enabling patients to move comfortably .
Spine fractures can similarly manifest acutely when the patient experiences pain and , in the worst-case scenario , numbness due to compression of the nerves or injuries to the spinal cord . “ A patient with mild spine
GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com ISSUE 2 | 2023