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Osteoporosis is a progressive metabolic bone disease that causes a decrease in bone density and gives rise to weak, fragile bones that are prone to fracture. Most commonly, these fractures occur in the spine, wrist and hips when a person falls or bumps into something. If such an event triggers a visit to the doctor, a test of the bone mineral density called a DEXA scan may be performed and reveal osteoporosis.

The term osteoporosis refers to the porous (spongy) state of bone that eventually manifests as the bone’s ability to replenish itself declines over time. When individuals reach the age of around 40, the rate of bone breakdown starts to exceed the rate at which it is replaced, creating increasingly larger holes in the bone that make it less dense and more prone to fracture.

Some of the risk factors for osteoporosis such as gender, age and family history for the condition cannot be changed. However, factors such as diet and activity level can be improved to increase bone strength and individuals are advised to exercise regularly, eat a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium, and quit any smoking or drinking habits.

Osteoporosis is currently thought to be affecting more than 200 million people worldwide but is most common among older, post-menopausal women who have reduced levels of estrogen, an important contributor to bone health.
Wounds may heal more quickly if exposed to low-intensity vibration, say researchers

Wounds may heal more quickly if exposed to low-intensity vibration, say researchers

Wounds may heal more quickly if exposed to low-intensity vibration, report researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. [More]
Fracture liaison services effective in identifying, treating older adults who suffer fragility fracture

Fracture liaison services effective in identifying, treating older adults who suffer fragility fracture

Studies have shown that anyone age 50 or older who suffers a fragility fracture - a bone break sustained in a fall from a standing height or less - is two to five times more likely to experience a second fracture than someone who hasn't had one. The odds that a person who's suffered two such fractures will have a third are even higher. [More]

Researchers develop computerized treadmill program to prevent falls in older adults

Clive Pai believes people can be trained not to fall. The professor of physical therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago will use a five-year, $1 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to develop a computerized treadmill program that could be used in physical therapy offices to prevent falls and fall-related injuries in older adults. [More]

Maturitas publishes EMAS' position statement on menopause curriculum for medical students

Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the publication of a position statement by the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) in the journal Maturitas on the topic of the essential menopause curriculum for medical students. [More]
Computer analysis of various subtypes of asthma could eventually lead to improved therapy, says study

Computer analysis of various subtypes of asthma could eventually lead to improved therapy, says study

So m​any variables can contribute to shortness of breath that no person can keep them all straight. But a computer program, capable of tracking more than 100 clinical variables for almost 400 people, has shown it can identify various subtypes of asthma, which perhaps could lead to targeted, more effective treatments. [More]
Building muscle mass important in decreasing metabolic risk

Building muscle mass important in decreasing metabolic risk

New UCLA research suggests that the more muscle mass older Americans have, the less likely they are to die prematurely. The findings add to the growing evidence that overall body composition - and not the widely used body mass index, or BMI - is a better predictor of all-cause mortality. [More]

Scientists open door to development of new drugs to combat osteoporosis

Scientists from the University of Granada (UGR) have opened the door to the development of new drugs against osteoporosis, one of the most common chronic illnesses in the world, especially among women 65 or over. [More]
Washington Hospital recognized as 'Baby-Friendly Hospital'

Washington Hospital recognized as 'Baby-Friendly Hospital'

Washington Hospital has earned the distinction as a "Baby-Friendly Hospital" from the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program launched by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund. The designation recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. Fewer than 175 hospitals in the U.S. are "Baby-Friendly." [More]
Minimally invasive surgery outcomes show favorable results in low back pain patients

Minimally invasive surgery outcomes show favorable results in low back pain patients

Beaumont research findings published in the February online issue of Spine shows that patients who have a low back surgery called minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, end up better off in many ways than patients who have more invasive surgery to alleviate debilitating pain. [More]

Meta-analysis study shows association between BTMs s-CTX, s-PINP and risk of future fractures

​A new study by an International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) scientific working group summarizes the clinical performance of serum procollagen type I N propeptide (s-PINP) and serum C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen (s-CTX) in fracture risk prediction in untreated individuals in prospective cohort studies. [More]
LMU researchers identify genetic mutations that result in overproduction of cortisol

LMU researchers identify genetic mutations that result in overproduction of cortisol

An international team of researchers led by an endocrinologist at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich has identified genetic mutations that result in uncontrolled synthesis and secretion of the stress hormone cortisol. [More]
Protein interaction network provides invaluable resource to identify targets for Huntington's disease

Protein interaction network provides invaluable resource to identify targets for Huntington's disease

Researchers at the Buck Institute have identified and categorized thousands of protein interactions involving huntingtin, the protein responsible for Huntington's disease (HD). To use an analogy of a human social network, the identified proteins are like "friends" and "friends of friends" of the HD protein. [More]
Breast cancer survivors should get regular exercise to enjoy high quality of life

Breast cancer survivors should get regular exercise to enjoy high quality of life

Older women who have overcome breast cancer are likely to struggle with heart disease, osteoporosis and hypertension further on in their lives. Whether these conditions occur or not is influenced by the treatment that patients received to fight cancer, their overall weight and their age. [More]
Scales of zebrafish suitable for identifying new drugs for treating bone diseases

Scales of zebrafish suitable for identifying new drugs for treating bone diseases

The scales of the zebrafish are very suitable for identifying potential new drugs for treating bone diseases. This is good news because it means fewer mice and rats will be needed for that work. [More]

Ligand Pharmaceuticals' total revenues for Q4 2013 increase 8% to $14.7 million

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated today reported financial results for the three and 12 months ended December 31, 2013, and provided an operating forecast and program updates. [More]
Study reports that smoking causes earlier signs of menopause

Study reports that smoking causes earlier signs of menopause

New research is lighting up yet another reason for women to quit smoking. In a study published online in the journal Menopause, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania report the first evidence showing that smoking causes earlier signs of menopause - in the case of heavy smokers, up to nine years earlier than average - in white women with certain genetic variations. [More]

Researchers make first link between menopause, smoking and genetic variations in white women

New research is lighting up yet another reason for women to quit smoking. In a study published online in the journal Menopause, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania report the first evidence showing that smoking causes earlier signs of menopause - in the case of heavy smokers, up to nine years earlier than average - in white women with certain genetic variations. [More]

FDA grants Breakthrough Therapy designation to GSK's Promacta/Revolade for treatment of cytopenias

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted its partner GlaxoSmithKline plc Breakthrough Therapy designation for Promacta/Revolade (eltrombopag) for the treatment of cytopenias in patients with severe aplastic anemia (SAA) who have had insufficient response to immunosuppressive therapy. [More]

More than 1/2 of relevant websites carry 'unacceptable' information about vertebroplasty

Most websites with information on vertebroplasty - a procedure in which a special medical-grade cement mixture is injected into a fractured vertebra - do not paint the full picture about the pros, cons and alternatives of the treatment. [More]
Finding could lead to new treatments for osteoporosis

Finding could lead to new treatments for osteoporosis

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered what appears to be a potent stimulator of new bone growth. The finding could lead to new treatments for osteoporosis and other diseases that occur when the body doesn't make enough bone. [More]