Monday, November 15, 2010

It's complex - that's why medical community moves slowly

Reading today that osteoporosis didn't have an agreed definition until 1992. On one hand that is quite a while ago, being 18 years. However the question then becomes what was the time lapse between discovery/naming and agreed definition.

Think about 150 years! Yup one and half centuries. A Frenchman in 1935 published the first articles about "holes" in bones in elderly. Through his work he named it osteoporosis ("osteon" which means bone and "poros" which means pore).

Now clearly science has come a long way in understanding the disease that effects about 50% of Westerners as they age. You can see that science moves slowly in the 150 years before a definition was agreed upon. This is because medical researches like to get things right (this we should be very grateful of!) Therefore there would have been much robust debate about what made up osteoporosis, its development and clinical signs that occur in all cases.

However the down side to this is that innovation can sometimes reach the consumer at a glacial pace. Thus our loved ones live a life of suffering which they don't need to. I hopefully with this blog (a) reduce the time for the consumer to know things that can change their lives and (b) report reliable and solid science.   

Lastly for you techy's who would be annoyed if I didn't quote what the definition is (source: Wikipedia).....
Osteoporosis is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a bone mineral density that is 2.5 standard deviations or more below the mean peak bone mass (average of young,healthy adults) as measured by DXA

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