Vitamin D deficiency focus for summit
Dubai, December 15, 2011
The finding that 78 per cent of the UAE population suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, which is essential for good bone health, despite the abundance of sunshine, will be highlighted at an upcoming summit in Dubai.
The eighth Middle East Orthopedics Conference taking place at Arab Health Exhibition & Congress from January 23 to 26 will also address issues around orthopedics in the neonate, adolescent, senior patient, back patient and athlete as well as innovations.
Reports from the American University of Beirut Medical Centre have concluded that the MEA region has the highest incidence of osteoporosis in the world, while UAE-based studies from the Emirates Osteoporosis Society (EOS) across Emiratis and expatriates show that one third of people in the UAE over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis.
The society confirms that lack of the essential vitamin in this part of the world can be as a result of limited sun exposure due to local cultural practices and the high outdoor temperatures, conservative clothing, urbanization, darker skin pigmentation, smoking, obesity, diet and prolonged breast feeding without supplements, high caffeine and carbonated consumption, as well as a lack of vitamin D fortification in common foods.
“Vitamin D deficiency is a critical concern in the Middle East and the prevalence of osteoporosis in the UAE and across the region demonstrates a clear need for change. In highlighting the issue during the conference, we aim to improve both awareness and education and highlight the disease as a national health priority alongside obesity and diabetes,” said Dr Mario Skugor of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College, who be hosting a session at the meeting.
Women in the UAE’s extreme lack of exposure to sunlight means that vitamin D deficiency could reach startling levels with serious consequences in the near future, he added.
“Education is a critical first step in addressing the problem,” said Simon Page, managing director – Life Sciences, Informa Exhibitions – the organisers of Arab Health.
“The Middle East Orthopedics Conference provides a strong platform for delivery of the message across healthcare professionals from all over the region while supporting the work and findings of the International Osteoporosis Foundation.” – TradeArabia News Service