Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by reduced bone strength anddeteriorated bone microarchitecture which ultimately lead to increased risk of fracture. The disease is commonly found in postmenopausal women and elderly men. In Vietnam, our research showed that approximately 30% of postmenopausal women and 10% of elderly men have osteoporosis. In 2011, approximately 2.9 million Vietnamese, including 2.9 million women, have osteoporosis. This prevalence indicates that osteoporosis is a major public health concern in Vietnam.

The consequence of osteoporosis is fragility fracture. Although any bone can be fractured, the common sites are femoral neck, vertebrae, wrist, and ribs. Bone fracture is associated with serious consequences, including refracture, mortality, and disability. Individuals with a fracture have reduced life expectancy, and the reduction was more pronounced in men than in women. In women, the risk of mortality after a hip fracture is equivalent to the risk of mortality followed a breast cancer. Approximately 20% of patients with a hip fracture need assisted care, and only 40% of them are physically independent. Individuals with vertebral fracture also have increased risk of mortality and reduced quality of life.

Bone is a very dynamic tissue in the sense that it is subjected to the continuous renewal during one’s lifetime. Bone tissue is formed by the net balance between bone resorption and bone formation which are collectively referred to as bone remodeling. The process of bone remodeling is controlled by a complex network of hormones and genes. Our long-term objective is to understand the effect of bone remodelling on the fragility of bone. At present, we pursue the following research areas:

  • Development of reference ranges for the diagnoses of osteoporosis and vertebral fracture;
  • Risk factors for fracture;
  • Development of individualized predictive models for the assessment of fracture risk;
  • Effects of hormones on bone mineral density and bone remodeling;
  • Affects of muscle mass and muscle strength on bone metabolism;
  • Interactions between genes, genomic factors and environmental factors on bone fracture;
  • Relationship between osteoporosis and osteoarthritis;
  • Relationships between body composition, obesity, and osteoporosis.