A mathematical formula has been developed that can predict a woman's risk of osteoporotic fracture.
The formula has proven accurate 75 percent of the time, and it could allow physicians to tailor treatment strategies. The equation takes into account likelihood of falling, bone mass, body weight and other factors.
To develop the formula, more than 200 elderly women who had sustained a low-trauma fracture during a two-year period were examined, as well as more than 400 elderly women who had not sustained a fracture during that period.
The formula was then tested on a random third group over a six-year period. The formula successfully predicted 75 percent of fractures within two years of the study's start.
Women with osteoporosis have bones that are less dense and more likely to break, as a result of larger pores in the bone, reduced calcium levels and fewer blood vessels.
About 45 percent of all women have varying levels of bone mineral density loss between their hip and spine. It's hard to predict the risk of bone fractures due to osteoporosis, so this formula could prove a great boon.
Interestingly, obesity increased the risks of fracture by multiplying the force applied to the skeleton during falls. Some had previously thought that lighter body weight actually led to greater risk, because it could mean lower bone mass.
Fortunately, an optimized nutritional plan based on your body's unique nutritional type (particularly eating the right amount of vegetables) and exercise works in tandem, not only to beat obesity but also osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis affects one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50, but this is largely because many are clueless about what they can do to prevent this problem. Using exercise to strengthen bone mass, especially during puberty, can build a good foundation that can last a lifetime.
Diet is, of course, also tremendously important for strong bones, but there is an even stronger connection between exercise and improved bone density among teens than taking calcium.
It is also important to remember to use the basic tool of sun exposure to maintain your bone health. I am not talking about casual few-minute exposure on your face and hands, but the healthy dose you receive while wearing shorts and either no shirt or a sport bra for women.
This is the type of exposure most of us require to generate significant levels of vitamin D from the sun. Obviously, with winter quickly approaching for most of us, this is not very practical. In the past I had recommended cod liver oil, but I really believe that using a safe sunlamp may provide a better alternative as there is virtually no risk of developing vitamin D overdose.