wrinkles = sign of bone issues

in a recent study, the researchers said that the severity and pattern of skin wrinkles, as well as overall skin firmness, may offer important clues about bone mineral density in women entering menopause. Skin and bones share common building blocks – proteins called collagens. The more severe facial and neck wrinkling was in early post-menopausal women, the lower their bone density was likely to be, an indication of risk for future fractures. This relationship was independent of age or factors known to influence bone mass, such as smoking, age, multi-vitamin use, race and ethnicity. Conversely, women with firmer skin had better bone density, suggesting lower risk for fractures later in life.

If further studies confirm that skin quality and bone health are indeed related, then in the future, MDs might be able to screen for osteoporosis by checking patients’ skin, instead of using the costly X-ray test now considered the gold standard: DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry).

Osteoporosis leads to fractures in 1 in 3 women over age 50, and 1 in 5 men over 50. Since it’s a silent disease with no symptoms until it gets bad enough to cause fractures, screening is the only way to detect early, so patients can be treated to reduce risk for broken bones. Osteoporosis can also lead to stooped posture, loss of height, disability and deformity, such as “dowager’s hump,” a severe rounding of the upper back, due to compression fractures in the vertebrae weakened by the disease.

Get a bone density test if you are a woman age 65 or older, post-menopausal women under age 65 if they have risk factors, a man age 70 or older, or if you break a bone after age 50 due to a relatively minor injury.

To keep your bones as healthy, avoid smoking, eat a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium, and engage in regular weight-bearing exercise, such as jogging, walking, or jumping rope.

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read article on Yahoo! Shine by Lisa Collier Cool from Healthline: What Wrinkles Reveal About Women’s Health

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