There has been a dramatic increase in the number of fracture cases throughout Asia, finds a new study.

A new audit report released by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) showed that osteoporosis is a serious and growing problem throughout Asia.

It showed that the incidence of hip fracture has increased two-to-three-fold in most Asian countries over the past 30 years and half of the world’s fractures will occur in Asia by 2050.

The report also debunked the myth that osteoporosis is rare in Asia as compared to Western countries.

Over the past four decades the number of hip fractures increased by 300 per cent in Hong Kong, and by 500 per cent in Singapore.

In Japan the number of fractures in people over 75 increased dramatically over the span of 12 years. However, in mainland China, formerly considered a ‘low risk’ area, almost 70 million people over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis, resulting in some 687,000 hip fractures per year.

According to the experts, widespread vitamin D deficiency and low calcium intake may be in part responsible for the alarming increase in osteoporosis.

At present most treatments, prevention and education efforts are limited to urban areas, whereas people in rural areas have little knowledge of osteoporosis or access to prevention programs, and diagnostic and treatment facilities. In the most populous countries like China and India, the majority of the population lives in rural areas (60 per cent in China), where hip fractures are often treated conservatively at home instead of surgically in hospitals.

This leads to premature death for as many as one in five, immense personal suffering, lost productivity and long-term dependence on family members.

IOF urges immediate government action to prevent the rising tide of fractures

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