Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body losses too much bone, makes too little bone. As a result, bones become weak and prone to fracture. Osteoporosis is often called ‘the silent disease’ because bone loss usually occurs gradually over the years without symptoms. Many people aren’t aware of the condition until they have a minor fall which causes a fracture. Osteoporosis is a health concern. A series of problems arise from bone fractures, such as mobility impairments, scoliosis and spinal deformities.
Osteoporosis affects around 75 million people around the world. According to statistics, about half of menopausal women have osteoporosis. Currently, around 300,000 women have this disease. It is estimated that by 2030, this figure will increase by more than double. The number of femur fracture cases in Hong Kong has increased twofold and the mortality rate is as high as 20%. 50% of them even lose their ability to live independently forever. In untreated osteoporosis cases, among the population aged 50 or above, one-third of women and one-fifth of men will suffer from bone fractures caused by osteoporosis at least once.
Osteoporosis can lead to various types of fractures. The most common fractures include those in forearm, spine and hip. Hip fracture has the most serious complications. The overall mortality rate reaches 20% in a year. Many elderly patients become disabled permanently because of hip fractures and lose their self-care ability. Due to population ageing, the rate of hip fracture of Hong Kong people over the past 30 years has increased threefold. It is expected that the rate of hip fracture in Asia will account for half of the world’s rate, with China having the highest proportion.
In view of this, Past District Governor Lion Franklin Y. F. Lui established the Foundation in 2008 with the goal to help the public get educated about osteoporosis, understanding its medications and treatments that prevent, stop or slow the disease.
Bone Mineral Density test
Hong Kong Osteoporosis Foundation