Health Ministry develops program to contain osteoporosis

October 24, 2021 - 19:30

TEHRAN – Providing the required medicine, insurance coverage, bone densitometry in deprived areas and appropriate treatment in hospitals for people suffering from osteoporotic fractures are among the programs of the Ministry of Health for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis.

Afshin Ostovar, head of the NCDs management department of the Ministry of Health, made the remarks in a press conference held virtually on Saturday on the occasion of World Osteoporosis Day, observed annually on October 20.

Over 170,000 cases of fractures are caused by osteoporosis in the country, 20 to 50 percent of the cases die, he lamented, IRNA reported on Sunday.

Worldwide, more than 200 million people are suffering from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis and its resulting fractures cost the health system over 30 trillion rials (nearly $714 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) a year, he noted, adding, in fact, in 80 percent of cases, the disease causes an inability to walk and in 50 percent of cases, it causes difficulty in walking.

Due to the fact that osteoporotic fractures are common in the country, but early diagnosis and use of effective drugs that can cure this disease, he further highlighted.

Referring to improper nutrition, inadequate consumption of dairy products, lack of calcium and vitamin D, inadequate use of fruits and vegetables as risk factors, he stated that smoking, alcohol, and drugs are also effective in the development of this disease.

Currently, it has been estimated that more than 200 million people are suffering from osteoporosis. According to recent statistics from the International Osteoporosis Foundation, worldwide, 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 years and 1 in 5 men will experience osteoporotic fractures in their lifetime.

As the country's aging population grows, the Ministry of Health has plans to prevent osteoporosis, namely, provision of the required medicine, insurance coverage, bone densitometry in deprived areas, and appropriate treatment in hospitals for people suffering from osteoporotic fractures, he explained.

80% of Iranian women above 75 suffering from osteoporosis

Ostovar earlier in May said that 80 percent of women over the age of 75 across the country are suffering from osteoporosis.

Women are more exposed to osteoporosis than men, he said elaborating that averagely, all over the country, one in three women and one in five men aged over 50 get fractures due to osteoporotic each year, but now one in two women and one in four men over the age of 50.

In other words, half of the women aged 50 or above experience osteoporosis fractures, 20 to 50 percent of pelvic fractures lead to death, he lamented.

Seventeen percent of Iranians over the age of 30 and 20 percent of women aged over 50 are suffering from osteoporosis, Ahmad Raeisosadat, secretary of the association of physical medicine and rehabilitation, said in October 2019.

Mina Kermani, a rheumatologist, announced in February 2019 that about seven million Iranian people were suffering from osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. It develops slowly over several years and is often only diagnosed when a minor fall or sudden impact causes a bone fracture.

The most common injuries in people with osteoporosis are wrist fractures and hip fractures.