Anyone who is over 40 finds it totally normal to be different from a twenty year old in some ways. But if the comparison is made between a 50 or 60 year old woman and a young “Top Gun” of twenty it’s clear that there will be some very “normal” differences between the two people.
This is obvious to everyone except the persons who came up with the definition of “osteoporosis”. Thanks to pharmacologists, gynecologists and orthopaedic surgeons who came up with this abstract definition, a person whose bones are not as hard as those of a “healthy young adult male” (like the “Top Gun” we mentioned) is defined as osteoporotic, even if their bones are not necessarily fragile.
For years, our medical staff has been pointing out that the CBM is a fine instrument but it is poorly calibrated; this is of little help to the general public but obviously beneficial as far as pharmacological prescriptions are concerned.
Encouraging the use of medicines that are often useless and easily harmful to treat a non-existent problem is nothing short of irresponsible. This creates a grave sense of fear and alarm in people, but especially in women, that is absolutely unjustified. What’s more, if this behavior were to arise not from scientific motivations but from commercial ones, it would be a crime.
We can’t forget the fact that many scientific studies, aside from having already established the relationship between high calcium levels and senile dementia, also link the worst breast tumors with bone hardness and prostate cancer with calcium intake.
So we’re not talking about trivialities, but a theme that affects everyone’s health and that today receives a commercial push based on a consideration and comparison [woman of 70 years (Z) compared to Top Gun (T)] that even a 15 year old would find absurd.
Let’s look at a real life example. As the charts clearly demonstrate, in the proposition of values (in this case referred to a 74 year old woman) the blue and light blue wave corresponds to the normal values for women, and corresponds to the comparison with the Z score. In this case, the value of the woman in the test is perfectly normal, just a little under the norm, and therefore perfectly placed within the proper reference wave.
But the definition of osteoporosis makes it so that its value (represented by the red cross and the white dot in the lower right hand side of the chart) is inferior to the minimum of the young pilot that we just mentioned (red dotted line), and the T score that is assigned is clearly low.
Therefore, this woman who has perfectly healthy bones and is perfectly in the norm, is told that she has serious osteoporosis and has a higher risk of fracture. She leaves the doctor’s studio convinced that she is fragile, while she really only has a bone hardness that is inferior to that of a young male of 20 years. So she starts taking useless medicines, but most of all she begins to doubt her autonomy.
Real osteoporosis exists when one’s bone value is under the blue and light blue wave. It lies outside of the normal value for average women.
In the example, for the vertebra as well as for the femur, the woman’s values are correct, but because her values are inferior to those of the young man (dotted red line), she is classified as osteoporotic.
In reality, these details are well indicated within the medical report, but in a medical jargon that can only be understood by experts: as a matter of fact, they propose the values of the T score (those of the young pilot) as well as those of the Z score (those of the woman) and the preliminary remarks (cited from an actual report) clearly state: “…the patient has proven to be osteoporotic. This definition refers to the levels of bone density that were found: osteoporosis simply means low bone mass”.
Osteoporosis does not mean fragile bones. That said, it depends on many other considerations; but people are led to believe exactly that.
Even the persons who write the medical reports protect themselves from judiciary complaints: osteoporosis doesn’t signify that you have fragile bones, it only means that you have a number that is different from that young man of 20 years. Just in case someone decides to ask for compensation for the damages caused by the drugs.
But in the meantime, medicines are being prescribed and millions of women are feeling fragile and insecure.