Originally published November 30 2008
Study Shows Better Osteoporosis Management can Reduce Hip Fractures
by Reuben Chow
(NaturalNews) According to Richard M. Dell, an orthopedic surgeon at the Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center, the mortality rate arising from fractures related to osteoporosis is higher than the mortality rates for breast and cervical cancers put together. That is perhaps somewhat surprising, given how much damage we know those diseases are causing. The good news is that recent research led by Dr Dell has revealed that certain proactive measures which promote healthy bones can reduce the hip fracture rates of those who are at risk by an average of 37.2%.
About Osteoporosis and Hip Fractures
It is estimated that, in the United States, about 10 million people suffer from osteoporosis, while about 18 million have osteopenia, a condition whereby there is less severe loss of bone mass and which is generally accepted to lead to osteoporosis. About 80% of the Americans who have osteoporosis are women.
Generally speaking, osteoporosis can hit a person of any age. However, with the American population rapidly graying, the National Osteoporosis Foundation has stated that the issue of the disease has reached epidemic proportions. And aging populations, of course, is a worrying phenomenon which is gripping most developed nations.
Each year, more than 300,000 hip fractures take place in the US. And hip fractures are more serious than they first sound. Almost a quarter of those who suffer such fractures end up in a nursing home, while half fail to regain their functional capacity. More startling is the fact that some 25% of hip fracture patients die within one year of suffering the condition.
And even more disconcerting is the fact that "one-half of all women and one-third of all men will sustain a fragility fracture in their lifetime" and "the mortality rate due to osteoporosis-related fractures is greater than the rates for breast cancer and cervical cancer combined", according to Dr Dell.
Details and Findings of Study
The study conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center monitored over 625,000 persons aged over 50 years for a period of 5 years. The participants, which included both men and women, were from Southern California and they had specific risk factors for osteoporosis, hip fractures, or both.
While the numbers for osteoporosis are rising, the study, the largest of its kind and published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, found that some simple steps can be taken to greatly reduce the incidence of hip fractures. The basic measures, when taken, reduced the hip fracture rate of those at risk by 37.2% on average, and as greatly as 50%.
"Yet it's a misconception that nothing can be done to prevent or treat osteoporosis. It is possible to achieve at least a 25 percent reduction in the hip fracture rate in the United States if a more active role is taken by all orthopedic surgeons in osteoporosis disease management. Significant improvements in hip fracture rates are achievable wherever orthopedic surgeons and treatment teams are willing to take a more active role in osteoporosis disease management," said Dr Dell.
The measures taken by participating physicians included:
* increase in the use of bone density tests, i.e. DXA scans
* increase in the use of anti-osteoporosis medications
* the use of osteoporosis education and home health programs
* standardize practice guidelines for managing osteoporosis
These, of course, are measures largely belonging to conventional medical protocol. On a personal level, the individual at risk could utilize some simple ways of reducing his or her own risk.
Exercise, for example, protects against bone loss; weight-bearing exercise has the best effect, and something simple like walking is an excellent weight-bearing exercise. On the other hand, smoking leads to increased bone loss, and is something those at risk would want to take note of. Smoking, of course, comes with dozens of other health hazards.
Sufficient calcium and vitamin D intake are also crucial. The best sources of these nutrients are quite certainly through natural means – dietary intake, with green leafy vegetables being a good source, and moderate amounts of sensible sun exposure respectively.
In terms of supplementation, some studies have shown calcium to be useful in protecting against osteoporosis, while other studies have shown fish oil to improve calcium absorption and help with bone formation.
All in all, osteoporosis, like most other chronic degenerative conditions, is a dietary and lifestyle disease. Thus, with the right living habits, it can be effectively averted.
Healthy Bones Program Reduces Hip Fractures By 37 Percent, Study Finds (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11...)
About the authorReuben Chow has a keen interest in natural health and healing as well as personal growth. His website, All 4 Natural Health, offers a basic guide on natural health information. It details simple, effective and natural ways, such as the use of nutrition, various herbs, herb remedies, supplements and other natural remedies, to deal with various health conditions as well as to attain good health. His other websites also cover topics such as depression help, omega 3 fatty acids, as well as cancer research and information.
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