A New Risk Factor For People With Osteoporosis

A New Risk Factor For People With Osteoporosis

          Osteoporosis is a major cause of fractures among older people. There are many risk factors for osteoporosis. Some of the include deficiency in dietary calcium and Vitamin D, smoking, drinking too much alcohol menopause and being physically inactive.

          However, there is now a new risk for people with osteoporosis. This new risk factor has been identified by scientists and researchers and is high levels of blood homocysteine.

          Usually high levels of homocysteine are associated to increased chances of suffering from a heart attack or a stroke. However, now researchers believe that it can also be a factor for causing fractures due to osteoporosis.

          In one study conducted in the Netherlands, 2,406 older adults aged 55 and above were divided into 4 equal groups based on their homocysteine levels. Each group was studied for a period of 2.5 years to 8 years. It was found that the group with the highest homocysteine level had more fractures compared to the groups with lower homocysteine levels. In fact, this group had nearly double the number of fractures compared to the other three groups.

          In another study, 1,999 older adults aged between 59 and 91 were studied for 16 to 19 years. Here too, the participants were divided into 4 equal groups based on their gender and homocysteine levels. It was found that the rate of fractures among men quadrupled, while it was double in women in groups that had the highest homocysteine levels.

          It has been seen that some people have a rare inherited blood disease known as homocystinuria. Here the level of homocysteine is very high in the blood and the urine also excretes out a lot of homosysteine. People who suffer from this disorder are also known to suffer from osteoporosis in their later years.

          However, in majority of cases, elevated levels of homocysteine do not occur on their own. Usually people with low levels of folic acid, Vitamin B12 and pyridoxine have high levels of blood homocysteine. And, researchers know that there is a connection between low levels of folic acid and Vitamin B12 and low bone density.

          However, researchers still do not know how homocysteine affects osteoporosis. So, they use the level of blood homocysteine as a way to find out whether a person is at a risk of suffering from a fracture caused due to osteoporosis. In that regard, homocysteine levels work as excellent markers.

A New Risk Factor For People With Osteoporosis