Low-income group women more prone to osteoporosis

Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: Women in low-income groups are prone to early onset of osteoporosis, shows a study conducted by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) in Hyderabad.

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and thin owing to low calcium intake. The incidence of osteoporosis is particularly high among women who have undergone menopause and old people.

The standard diagnostic method to measure bone mineral density, called Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA), measures density in the bones, especially in the spine, hip and wrist. Bone density of women in low-income group measured by DXA showed that these women developed osteopenia, a stage preceding the onset of osteoporosis at the age of 41 on an average.

The study which was conducted on 300 women in the age group of 30 to 60, in the slums of Addagutta in Secunderabad showed that 43 per cent had osteoporosis, another 43 per cent had osteopenia in the spine, while only 14 per cent of the women had normal density. With their bones thinning, they were more prone to fractures, as even minor injuries result in fracture.

The study carried out over the last two years by Veena Shatrugna , Deputy Director, and her colleagues in NIN indicated that calcium intake among the women here was very low.

These women consumed little or no milk and milk products that are rich in calcium content and are able to afford only tea.