Together Against Osteoporosis

Epidemiologic study on the prevalence of osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency in UAE

Osteoporosis is a generalized bone disease characterized by a decreased bone mass and a deterioration of bone microarchitecture, compromised bone strength and an increase in the risk of fracture. The most common areas of fracture are the spine, hip, and wrist. Osteoporosis affects an enormous number of people, of both sexes and all races, and its prevalence will increase as the population ages. Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds. About 50% of women and 20% of men at the
age of 50, will have a fragility fracture in their remaining lifetime.

In UAE, epidemiologic studies on prevalence of osteoporosis are lacking. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with osteoporosis and has reached epidemic proportions. Osteoporosis is preventable and treatable, but because there are no warning signs prior to a fracture, many people are not being diagnosed in time to receive effective therapy during the early phase of the disease.

Dubai Bone & Joint Center (DBAJ) in collaboration with Al Jalila Foundation supported by Gargash Enterprises will conduct a research on the prevalence of osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency in UAE

The study will include volunteers from UAE population, with ≥ 20 years old. A mobile clinic will travel across UAE and we will do clinical assessment of risk factors for osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency, measure serum 25 OH vitamin D levels, assess bone mineral density with quantitative ultrasound densitometry, and for participants of ≥ 50 years we will also do dual energy X-ray absorptiometry of the lumbar spine and hip in our center, DBAJ. The study will be conducted during a 24 – month period and we aim to include 2500 participants. The goal of this study is to raise awareness about this silent disease, the preventive measures, and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. The data collected will be published to provide healthcare professionals accurate information about osteoporosis in UAE.

To volunteer for the research program you must read and understand the below information.

Name of Principal Investigator: Dr. Luzia Sampaio
Name of Organization: Dubai Bone & Joint Center and Al Jalila Foundation
Contact: +971 4383 8111

We are doing research on osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency. I am going to give you information and invite you to be part of this research.
There may be some words that you do not understand. Please ask me to stop as we go through the information and I will take time to explain. If you have questions later, you can ask them to me or anyone of the staff.

Purpose of the research
Osteoporosis is a bone disease associated with high mortality and physical limitation. It is a silent disease that doesn’t give any symptom until a fracture occurs.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common in this country and has been associated with osteoporosis.
The reason we are doing this research is to find about how many people suffer of these conditions in UAE, the association of vitamin D deficiency and osteoporosis, to identify risk factors for osteoporosis, and comparing two methods for diagnosing osteoporosis.

Type of Research Intervention
This research will involve a questionnaire, measurement of weight and height, a single blood sample collection for vitamin D and measurement of bone mineral density.
The study will be conducted during 24 months and we will include men and women of ≥20 years old, residents in UAE for ≥3 years, of any ethnicity.

Voluntary Participation
Your participation in this research is entirely voluntary. It is your choice whether to participate or not.

Procedures and Protocol
We are asking you to help us learn more about osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency in this community. We are inviting you to take part in this research project. If you accept, you will be asked to answer some questions about your lifestyle, your health and medications.

The information recorded is confidential, and only the researchers will have access to the information documented.

  • We will measure your height and weight.
  • We will take a single sample of blood from your arm using a syringe and a needle. The blood sample obtained will be used only for this research, for measurement of vitamin D level, and will be destroyed when the research is completed.
  • We will measure the density of the bones in the heel, with a machine that uses ultrasound and is painless.

For participants of 50 years or more:
We will ask you to go to our clinic, Dubai Bone & Joint Center, to measure the density of the bones with a more accurate machine that uses a very low radiation dose (less than a chest x ray) and is painless.

In the end of the study you will be informed about the results of your vitamin D test and your bone mineral density. If you have vitamin D deficiency or osteoporosis you will be offered one free consultation and treatment prescription at DBAJ.

The information that we collect from this research project will be kept confidential. Information about you that will be collected during the research will be put away and no one but the researchers will be able to see it.

Sharing the Results
The knowledge that we get from doing this research will be shared and published in order that other interested people may learn from our research. Confidential information will not be shared.

This proposal has been reviewed and approved by DHCR Research Ethics Committee, whose responsibility it is to ensure the protection of the rights, safety and well-being of the participants involved in this study.