Muscle Mass and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis risk can be predicted not only by the strength of bones, but also by the amount of surrounding muscle mass, researchers say.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic reviewed records of a Mayo bone-health study involving 272 women and 317 men ages 20 to 97. They examined the link between a respondent’s skeletal muscle mass and bone strength.
They found that “load-bearing” areas of the body, including the hips, spine and shinbone, have an especially important link between muscle mass and bone health. But a non-load-bearing site, the forearm, is also important. The forearm is a site that’s at increased risk of fracture following menopause.
Lead author Nathan LeBrasseur, Ph.D., of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, said that the study “added to the growing body of evidence supporting the highly integrated nature of skeletal muscle and bone.” He said that the study’s findings could help in a better determination of which patients are at risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis, which makes bones thinner and weaker, is associated with serious and even fatal falls and fractures, especially in older women.