Researchers Identify 3 New Osteoporosis Risk Factors

April 2015 Living Well Main Article Image Bone health is a concern for many Americans and justifiably so, as statistics suggest that one in two women and one in four men over age 50 will suffer from an osteoporosis-related bone fracture at some point in her or his life. Loss of bone density is a natural part of aging, attributed to the shift in protective hormones like estrogen and testosterone. Even though many people are proactive about their bone health, the number of osteoporosis-related bone fractures in the U.S. continues to rise.

For years, healthcare professionals have educated Americans on the known risk factors of osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, that list includes:
  • Being female
  • Being older than 50
  • Having gone through menopause
  • Having a family history of osteoporosis
  • Having a small, thin body frame
  • Having a personal history of height loss, bones fractures
  • Taking corticosteroids, prostate cancer medications and antiseizure drugs regularly
  • Smoking
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle
  • Eating a diet low in bone-building nutrients
  • Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol (i.e., having more than one drink/day for women and more than two drinks/day for men)
Recently, three medical centers published new studies that suggest additional factors that may contribute to lower bone density.
 
  • Vasomotor Symptoms - A study at the University of Buffalo Clinical Center concluded that women who reported moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms, (i.e., hot flashes, flushes and night sweats) during and after menopause had a lower bone density in their hips and top portion of their legs, as well as a higher risk of hip fractures when compared to women who did not struggle with these symptoms. Be sure to discuss vasomotor symptoms and maintaining your bone density with your MDVIP-affiliated physician. For the latest information on hot flashes, read this article from MDVIP Connect »
  • Sleep Apnea - Researchers at the Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan (Taiwan) believe they may have identified sleep apnea as a risk factor. Research showed that depriving rats of sleep interfered with their bone formation, a component of the bone remodeling process that involves the removal of mature bone from the skeleton and replacement with new bone tissue. Experts are already anticipating that the study results on humans will be similar, as sleep apnea (and possibly other causes of sleep deprivation) seems to affect bone turnover and metabolism. For more on this study, continue reading »
  • Greater Impact of Male Smoking - National Jewish Health findings suggest that middle-aged to older males who smoked were more likely than female smokers of the same age group to develop osteoporosis and spinal fractures. These findings are significant because they could lead to the development of bone screening guidelines for men and may be earlier treatment for smokers. Are you or a loved one interested in quitting smoking? This article on MDVIP Connect can help you develop a cessation plan. 
Your MDVIP-affiliated doctor can help you stay current with bone density screenings and create a bone-healthy lifestyle that includes: Lastly, discuss with your MDVIP-affiliated physician if supplements for building bones like calcium and vitamin D are right for you. And, if you don’t have an MDVIP-affiliated doctor, click here to learn more about MDVIP and find a physician near you. 
8 Comments
Constance Slack
Apr 23rd, 2017
I appreciate MDVIP outreach efforts to members by sending emails containing health topics of interest. I know that I can access health information on the MDVIP website, however, I don't ever think of doing that.
Patty Harman
Oct 12th, 2016
There was a lot of good information on bone density and sleep apnea,
Marc Chisholm
Oct 18th, 2015
I am 59 and believe I have avascular necrosis of the hip and am desperately seeking treatment. I am on Medicaid.
1 Reply
MDVIP
Oct 20th, 2015
Greetings Marc,

We appreciate you sharing your challenges with avascular necrosis of the hip. The best suggestion we can give you to help manage your condition is to seek care from a medical provider. In the meantime, this article from Mayo Clinic may provide you with a better understanding of your condition and help prepare you for a doctor’s visit.

In Good Health,
MDVIP

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/avascular-necrosis/basics/definition/con-20025517

Roslyn Martz
Jun 14th, 2015
This notification was very informative. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Roslyn Martz.
Carol
Apr 30th, 2015
I have had osteoporosis since I was 32 years old. The past meds I took really upset my stomach tried injection's and the every 6 month deal.Nothing works for me and with all the side effects I choose to take nothing. I make sure I consume a calcium rich diet maybe one day science will find a way to help us without all the drug's and side effects.
1 Reply
MDVIP
Apr 30th, 2015
Greetings Carol,

We’re sorry to read that you have been struggling with osteoporosis since you have been 32. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We hope that someday soon a medication will be available that works for you with minimal side effects. In the meantime, we suggest that you continue working with your physician to stay abreast of the latest treatments and complications that may occur as a result of the osteoporosis.

In Good Health,
MDVIP
Sandra
Apr 23rd, 2015
What can I do for sleep problems such as frequent waking up during the night and sometimes inability to go to sleep?
1 Reply
MDVIP
Apr 27th, 2015
Greetings Sandra,

Insomnia is a major health concern in our country affecting nearly 60 million Americans each year. In fact, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified sleep deprivation as an epidemic. However, there are many factors that can cause or contribute to sleeplessness. Just a few examples include stress/anxiety, medical conditions (thyroid, fibromyalgia, chronic pain), substances, medications and lifestyle changes. We suggest that you work with your MDVIP affiliated doctor to help identify the root cause(s) of your sleep problems to find a solution that may help you, whether it be taking medication, starting an exercise program or changing your sleep environment. For more information, this insomnia article from the Mayo Clinic may help you. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/basics/causes/con-20024293

In Good Health,
MDVIP

Leonora Isaak
Apr 23rd, 2015
Three countries have made a direct link with the greatest amounts of dairy products and increased bone fractures: Australia, Great Britain and Switzerland. Google Fractures and Dairy and see what you get for yourself. Have we and are being sent crashing by our FDA and Dairy industry?
1 Reply
MDVIP
Apr 27th, 2015
Greetings Leonora,

Thank you for raising very interesting questions. We believe the study you are referring to was published by the British Journal of Medicine in late October 2014. Although it has been six months, in the world of academia, it is still deemed a new study. And despite researchers using data from two large, long-term studies in Sweden, the findings are still considered among the first on this topic. Since the United States Department of Agriculture has a history of being very cautious with public health education, we are speculating that they are waiting for additional research with similar results before they adjust our nation’s nutrition recommendations.

In Good Health,
MDVIP


Betty Shannon
Apr 22nd, 2015
I would like to know of possible breathing exercises for better lung capacity..
1 Reply
MDVIP
Apr 23rd, 2015
Greetings Betty,

Thank you for your inquiry about improving lung capacity. Oftentimes, people who are interested in exercises to maintain breathing capacity might have a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. If you have been diagnosed with a lung condition, we suggest that you work with your MDVIP-affiliated physician and pulmonologist to determine the most appropriate breathing exercises for you.

However, to answer your question in a general manner, without knowing your medical history or the severity of your condition(s), the following exercises might help improve pulmonary function:

Aerobic exercise: Take a short walk or ride a stationary bike. These activities can help strengthen your heart and lungs.

Pursed-lip breathing: Relax your neck and shoulders, then breathe in through your nose for two seconds while keeping your mouth closed. Then, purse your lips and breathe out through your mouth for four seconds. Repeat a few times.

Diaphragmatic breathing: Lie on your back and bend in your knees. Place one hand below your rib cage and the other hand on your chest. Inhale deeply through your nose while trying to keep your chest still. Your lower ribs and belly should rise. Then, tighten your abdominal muscles, purse your lips and exhale out for six seconds. Repeat a few times.

We hope this helps. Again, it is best to work with your physicians when managing health concerns such as COPD.

In Good Health,
MDVIP


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