Research never takes a back seat for doctors and scientists, and this zest to find answers has now provided us with another study that will possibly help prevent fractures suffered by women post-menopause.
Dr. Karl Jepsen, who is leading this research, is a Ph.D, associate chair of research and professor of orthopaedic surgery at Michigan Medicine. He believes that if the changing bone structure is noted in women who go through menopause, doctors will be able to identify and prevent fractures in the later age. This will help doctors intervene and take precautionary steps before a mishap which will save the women from injury and, of course, the pain.
This study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, examined the bone traits of 198 midlife women who are transitioning through menopause for 14 years.
Choosing the right subjects for the study was important and therefore, Dr Jepsen and his team got in touch with the database of Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. The women the study had been following since 1996 had to be:
Aged between 42 and 52 years
Have an intact uterus
At least one menstrual period in the previous three months
Do 14 annual visits for measuring bone density of their hip and spine
These women were then studied for their bone mass and the changes that were observed. For some women, the hip bones appeared to have increased in strength during menopause while others seemed to be losing strength.
Another observation that was similar among all women was the areal bone mineral density that changed similarly for structural and biological reasons.
Areal density (grams per square centimeter) is different from volumetric density (grams per cubic centimeter) as this distinction is what helps one study the growth of the bones
With this study in place, and further research, hopefully doctors will soon be able to prevent fractures 30 years prior to when they believe they are to happen, due to fragile bones.