No DEXA Scan in JK Hospitals, Patients Suffer: DAK



Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Monday said that government run hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir are without the facility of DEXA scan which is routinely used in clinical practice to detect bone loss.

Describing it as an essential diagnostic tool, President DAK in a statement said, “patients suffer immensely due to lack of DEXA scan which is an established standard for measuring bone mineral density.”

“Patients are referred to private clinics to get the test done, an option available to only those who can afford,” the DAK statement said.

Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is the gold standard for diagnosing osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.

“It is effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and is also an accurate estimate of fracture risk,” the statement informed. “US preventive services task force recommends that all elderly and postmenopausal women should be screened by bone densitometry as they are at greatest risk of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a silent disease and does not cause any symptoms until a bone is broken.”

“Due to the unavailability of the bone density testing, we do not know the magnitude of the disease in our population. We do not have reference database of bone density of our young healthy adult population to which we can compare our patients.

We compare our patients to reference data of west which gives inaccurate assessment and the cases of osteoporosis are either seriously underdiagnosed or over diagnosed,” the statement further said.

“Our population is more prone to osteoporosis because of lower bone density, vitamin D deficiency and low consumption of calcium-rich foods.

The situation is compounded by unnecessary and scandalous hysterectomies (surgical removal of uterus) which are rampant in Kashmir as there is no clinical audit,” it added. “According to a survey by union health ministry, more than 12,000 such operations have been recorded in JK in 2014 and 2015.”

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