q Osteoporosis :: Height loss depicts osteoporosis risk | Health | Spirit India

Osteoporosis :: Height loss depicts osteoporosis risk

A new study at The Ohio State University Medical Center suggests that a loss of 2 or more inches in height during adulthood can predict osteoporosis in the hip, and thus the risk for hip fractures in elderly women.

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease characterized by an abnormal decrease in bone mass and strength leading to an increased risk of bone fractures. It is the major cause of bone fractures in older people, especially postmenopausal women. There are no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss and, until recently, its first visible sign was a fracture of the hip, wrist or spine.

According to Dr. Seth Kantor, a rheumatologist at OSU Medical Center and lead author of the study, “Our findings suggest that a very simple test for all patients – current height compared to peak adult height – can predict the need for a bone mineral density scan to check for osteoporosis.”

Chances of osteoporosis in the hip were nearly 10 times greater in women with 3 or more inches of height loss compared to women with less than an inch of loss. The average age of the women was 60. Odds were adjusted for variables of age, weight and maximum
adult height.

“The clear relationship we found implies that a simple evaluation of height can help physicians in an outpatient setting decide whether a patient should undergo a bone density scan,” he added.

The analysis indicated that height loss of up to 1 inch did not predict osteoporosis of the hip. Kantor also noted that it’s possible to have severe osteoporosis and not lose any height.

Dual energy X-ray densitometry (DEXA), ultrasound, quantitative CAT scan and plain X-rays can detect low adult bone density. DEXA, in particular, is currently considered the best tool for diagnosing osteoporosis and monitoring the response to treatment.


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