Osteoporosis is a disease where the bones in the body become weak and break (fracture) easily. Osteoporosis is fairly common in India and usually affects post-menopausal women > 65 years old and men more than 70 years. It can occur at a younger age in Rheumatoid Arthritis; long-term use of steroids; paralysis patients; bed-ridden patients; and with long term use of medicines like warfarin, phenytoin, etc. Osteoporosis can be a silent disease unless it manifests itself in the form of a fracture of the hip, spine or wrist. Therefore, WHO recommends that Osteoporosis should be screened for in females > 65 years and men > 70 years.
The screening tests for Osteoporosis are the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX Tool) and a Bone Densitometry (DEXA) scan. The FRAX tool is an online questionnaire that calculates the risk of suffering a major osteoporotic fracture over the next 10 years based on the patient’s age, sex and other risk factors.