Hong Kong has the highest life expectancy in the world with its men living, on average,up to 81.7 years and its women, 87.6 years. With the increased life expectancy, we oftenask – How do we make our extended years quality years?
Statistics shows 1 out of 4 elderly women, who are 10 years post-menopausal, suffer from osteoporosis and half of them do not know they have it until they break a bone.
Diagnosis of Osteoporosis
Ultrasound: Fast and convenient, but inaccurate
Bone Densitometry, also known as Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA): The current gold standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD)
|World Health Organization Diagnostic Criteria
|T-score of Spine or Hips
||Category for Diagnosis
|-1.0 and above
|Between -1.0 and -2.5
||Low Bone Mass
|-2.5 and below
|-2.5 and below with history of fracture
Risk Factors of Osteoporosis
1. Family history of osteoporosis
2. Being underweight
3. Menopause before age of 45
4. Being over age of 65 for women and 70 for men
5. Inactive lifestyle
6. Long-term steroid use
7. Not getting enough calcium
9. Parathyroid and thyroid problems
Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis
1. Weight-bearing exercises, such as speed walking, jogging, tai chi and yoga
2. Diet rich in calcium (good sources of calcium include milk, cheese, tofu, sardines etc.), or take calcium supplements (500 to 1,200 mg per day)
3. Quit smoking and alcohol drinking
4. Drug Therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT):
Can only be administered to patients who are free of tumors in their breasts and reproductive parts, and are with normal-functioning liver and kidneys. Patients undergoing HRT should schedule regular follow-up visits with your doctor, because HRT may increase the risk of breast cancer, stroke and heart diseases.
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM): May increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Could cause osteonecrosis of jaw or hip and unusual fractures. Oral bisphosphonates can cause stomach discomfort. You must inform your dentist of the bisphosphonate therapy you are receiving before any surgical dental procedures such as extraction and implant placement.
Calcitonin: Can be delivered as a nasal spray or injected subcutaneously. Can cause an allergic reaction and an increased heart rate.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
1. No symptoms in the early stages
2. Bone fractures
3. Height loss and hunched posture
4. Bone pain in the later stages
Common Places for Bone Fractures