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Osteoporosis in women, Wikimedia

London, March 23, 2017: Pre-menopausal women of South Asian origin might be more at risk of developing osteoporosis in later life, owing to higher levels of a by-product of bone resorption, a new study in the journal Bone reports.

Bone resorption is a natural process which enables the transfer of calcium from bone tissue into the bloodstream and is required to allow bone to adapt itself to challenges (e.g. change in a person’s activity levels) and repair damage.


However, if excessive and not balanced by equivalent bone formation, overtime this can be detrimental to bone health, the study said.

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The findings, reported in the journal Bone revealed that pre-menopausal South Asian women had higher levels of urinary N terminal telopeptide — a by-product of bone resorption found in urine — than their white counterparts, indicating elevated levels of bone resorption than would be expected for their age.

“The study showed that pre-menopausal South Asian women have the same level of bone resorption as a woman who has been through the menopause,” said lead author Andrea Darling from the University of Surrey in Britain.

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Typically high levels of this by-product are only found in post-menopausal women, which indicates that osteoclast cells in pre-menopausal South Asian women might be breaking down bones at a quicker rate than they are being reformed, making these women more susceptible to osteoporosis and fractures in later life.

In addition, fluctuations in levels of Vitamin D, — crucial for maintaining healthy bones — that is very high levels in summer but very low levels in winter, also led to higher levels of bone resorption.

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For the study, the team examined bone resportion in over 370 pre and post-menopausal South Asian and white women in the Britain. (IANS)


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