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Concern at high rate of osteoporosis prevalence

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ICMR Director-General Sujit Kumar Bhattacharya inaugurating a national workshop on bone densitometry at SRM University, Kattankulathur, on Tuesday. —
ICMR Director-General Sujit Kumar Bhattacharya inaugurating a national workshop on bone densitometry at SRM University, Kattankulathur, on Tuesday. —

Special Correspondent

Workshop discusses Bone Densitometry techniques

TAMBARAM: Speakers at a national workshop on Bone Densitometry on Tuesday expressed concern at the high rate of prevalence of osteoporosis in the country, especially among women.

Pointing out that an estimated 60 million people in India were affected by osteoporosis (a disease that causes weakening of bones, making them brittle), W. D. Evans, Head, Department of Medical Physics, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff and Cardiff University, said it had a direct impact on public health.

Considering that a large number of them were elderly, it had a serious social and financial impact on an individual and the nation. Dr. Evans said the present generation of youth objected to consumption of milk and dairy products and hence their intake of calcium reduced.

Further, owing to malnutrition and lack of exercise and physical activity, the youth faced the risk of being affected by osteoporosis as they grew old.

He said that he had come to Chennai to explore the possibility of establishing an academic tie-up with SRM University, Kattankulathur. The workshop was held to mark World Osteoporosis Day by the university’s Department of Biomedical Engineering in association with Cardiff University and Biomedical Engineering Society of India.

Inaugurating the workshop, Sujit Kumar Bhattacharya, Director-General, Indian Council of Medical Research, said research in stem cells offered solutions for many disorders and ailments and students of biomedical engineering could hope to pursue a wide range of specialties after their basic education. Production of monoclonal anti-bodies, he said, could be used for various medical tests, he said.

Bone densitometry techniques found good applications in understanding important factors that caused osteoporosis. Later speaking to reporters, he said Stanley Medical College had the largest stem cell research facilities in the country and it was doing good work in various research activities.

P. Sathyanarayanan and T.P.Ganesan, SRM University Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor respectively, and M.Anburajan, Head of its Department of Biomedical Engineering, spoke.

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