Bone density tests do predict women's fracture risk: Study

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Washington, Dec 19 (UNI) Don't ignore bone health, especially middle and old aged women, according to a new research.

One bone mineral density test can accurately predict a woman's chance of spinal fractures 15 years down the line, the research shows.

According to the largest prospective study of osteoporosis ever, women who had a spinal fracture at the beginning of the study had four times the risk of sustaining another fracture later on.

''Women need to talk to their doctors about the risk of osteoporosis,'' Washington Post quoted Jane Cauley, lead author of the study and professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh as saying.

''Women who are postmenopausal, 50 to 64 years of age, should consider having a bone density test if they have other risk factors for osteoporosis or if they want to know what their bone density is before they consider any other treatment,'' she said.

Postmenopausal women are particularly vulnerable to fractures resulting from osteoporosis, a degenerative weakening of the bones.

Spinal fractures are the most common type of fracture resulting from osteoporosis, affecting 35 per cent to 50 per cent of women over 50.

''Osteoporosis is sometimes called the silent thief. It basically robs the skeleton of strength and resources, and women don't really know about it. About 75 per cent of all spine fractures actually occur silently.'' Ms Cauley stated.

''Identifying risk factors for spine fractures is less well developed. You have to systematically look for them by repeated X-rays,'' Ms Cauley added.

UNI

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