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Postmenopausal Weight Changes Impact Fracture Risk

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It’s well-known that low body weight increases a postmenopausal woman’s risk of osteoporosis-related fractures, but what about gaining or losing weight? To answer this question, researchers reviewed data from 121,000 postmenopausal women who were followed for about 11 years as part of the Women’s Health Initiative study.

Compared with women whose weight remained stable, those who lost 5 percent or more of their initial body weight had a 65 percent higher risk of hip fracture, a 30 percent higher risk of central body fractures and a 9 percent higher risk of lower limb fractures. Women who gained 5 percent or more were more likely to fracture an upper or lower limb—10 percent and 18 percent, respectively—compared with those whose maintained their weight.

Women who unintentionally lost 5 percent or more—perhaps related to a serious illness—had a 33 percent higher likelihood of hip fracture and a 16 percent higher rate of vertebral fracture than women without intentional weight loss. Women who planned to lose weight were 15 percent less likely to experience a hip fracture than those who maintained a stable weight; however, they were 11 percent more likely to have a lower limb fracture.

These findings, published in BMJ, spotlight weight loss or gain as a red flag for increased fracture risk. If you are trying to lose weight after menopause, be sure you’re also heeding standard bone-strengthening recommendations.



Posted in Osteoporosis on February 14, 2016

Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer

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