In The News: April 2015

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Whether you gain or lose weight, the risk of fracture may persist for postmenopausal women, according to a new study. In an analysis of data from the Womens Health Initiative published in the British Medical Journal (January 2015), postmenopausal women who gained or lost at least five percent of their body weight had an increased risk of fracture. Interestingly, the site of fracture risk varied depending on whether they shed or packed on pounds. Weight loss was linked to a 65 percent increased risk of hip fracture, while weight gain increased the risk of lower limb fracture by 18 percent. The study included data on 120,566 postmenopausal women, with a mean age of 63, who were followed through 2013. The findings suggest that unintentional weight loss of five percent or more in older women should be regarded as a risk factor for fracture, particularly of the hip. In a population study such as this, weight loss is a general sign of poor health, which may cause illness and increased risk for fracture. On the flip side, arm and leg fractures were problematic among those who put on weight. The study was limited due to information on fracture being self-reported, but gives further support to treating women at high-risk of fracture in order to protect their bones.
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