Osteoporosis affects more old people than any other disease in Hong Kong, yet the Government offers scant preventive care for high-risk patients, experts said yesterday. An estimated 150,000 to 200,000 people over 65 are likely to need treatment for osteoporosis, warned Professor Leung Ping-chung of the orthopaedics and traumatology department at Chinese University. Associate Professor Edith Lau Ming-chu, also from Chinese University, said the Government urgently needed to promote the prevention of osteoporosis at grassroots level. Last year, about 4,000 elderly people fractured their hips due to osteoporosis, which reduces the density of bones, making them more brittle. The number of elderly people with fractures is expected to double in the next 10 years. A Department of Health spokeswoman insisted last night that elderly people were given adequate preventive information about the disease. Chinese University will conduct free bone-density measurements after it acquires two machines at a cost of $1.75 million. The hospital hopes to screen 40 to 50 patients a day. Osteoporosis afflicts 50 per cent of elderly women and 30 per cent of men. Women are more susceptible to osteoporosis due to hormonal changes after menopause that affect calcium retention. Experts believe the condition is attributed to lifestyle changes such as lower calcium intake, infrequent exercise, postmenopausal hormonal changes and a maternal family history of fractures. Incidence was 'slightly above normal' in Hong Kong compared with the regional trend, but the Government had still failed to endorse World Health Organisation guidelines on prevention due to apparent 'lack of resources', Professor Leung said. 'The Hospital Authority denies they have anything to do with prevention. 'They say prevention should be with the Health Department. 'But the Health Department is of the opinion that these patients are within the authority's jurisdiction.'