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Leu Yid Pin, Thailand

Leu Yid Pin liked nothing better than to walk through his quiet village. Enjoying life as a successful retired businessman, he would stop to chat with his friends before continuing to the sports club for his morning Tai Chi.

His normal routine came to an abrupt end, however, when 84-year old Mr. Leu developed severe back pains. He suffered such pain that he could not even sit down for dinner. He had to ask his wife to help him get dressed. An X-ray taken at the local hospital in Chiang-mai province revealed that Mr. Leu had fractured his fourth lumbar vertebrae, and he was given painkillers.

Two months later he was back in the hospital following another attack of severe back pain. His local doctor took an X-ray and discovered that Mr. Leu had a collapsed spine. By this time he had lost 8 cm of height. It was only when he was referred to a larger hospital in Bangkok that osteoporosis was diagnosed. There he was treated with a bisphosphonate to reduce bone loss.

Mr. Leu's physician, Dr. Suthorn Bavonratanavech notes that "osteoporosis is becoming an increasing problem in this part of the world". Dr. Bavonratanavech's hospital plans to start a special osteoporosis clinic. He also hopes to bring together specialists in orthopedics, obstetrics/gynecology and endocrinology to establish a Thai Osteoporosis Society.

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