Osteoporosis, traditionally thought more likely to strike people around the age of 50 or 60 years now seems to be increasingly prevalent among the young in Kerala, orthopaedics from a private clinic yesterday said.
A sedentary lifestyle coupled with a reduction in the levels of Vitamin D in the body could be said to be the main reasons for rising incidence of the disease that was also known as the 'silent thief,' Thomas M George and George Selvaraj said.
According to Dr George, the problem had been seen among IT employees who live a sedentary lifestyle and bone mineral density tests done on many such persons had returned readings indicative of bone density problems. He added what was surprising was the incidence of Vitamin D deficiency among people in Kerala, a state which received abundant sunlight.
Dr Selvaraj said regular exercise was a sure-shot preventative against the onset of osteoporosis. He said, while there were exercises such as swimming that mostly strengthened muscles, walking was one activity that strengthened bones too. He added, any weight-bearing exercise was good for the bones.
The doctors said it was commonly thought that fractures in aged persons were due to their falling, but it was the other way round usually, as falls among aged persons were due to their bones which tended to snap. They added there were socio-economic dimensions to the problem as the condition left aged persons bed-ridden and critically dependent on care givers.
The doctors also pointed out that tests for bone mineral density were not widely available under the public health system and were also not very cheap.