WRINKLES AND BONE DENSITY… CONCERNS FOR SENIOR WOMEN

Oct 10th, 2011 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: For Senior Women

More Wrinkles = Lower Bone Density

A study at Yale University recently revealed some interesting implications for senior women’s health.  The study found the more wrinkles a woman has during menopause, the lower her bone density. We’re all concerned about fending off osteoporosis, which occurs when bone tissue gets thin and bones (like our spine) can no longer hold us up, and begin to bend and curl.

The Endocrine Society Annual Meeting in June, 2011, included a report from Yale University School of Medicine that studied the relationship between aging skin and aging skeleton.  Dr Lubna Pal is the lead investigator of the study; she said, “Women need to be aware that our skin is giving us a glimpse of what’s happening inside to our skeleton,”  The furrows between the brows seem to be the strongest link between wrinkles and bone density; however, other wrinkles in the soft tissue of the face also can indicate the possibility of diminished bone density.

Collagen (a Group of Proteins) is the Common Factor

Collagen is the common building block in both facial tissue and bones, so the relationship is predictable.  Our skin begins to sag and wrinkle as we age because of the lack of collagen in our bodies.  The diminished proteins also affect bone quality and quantity, albeit unseen.

The medical community is particularly interested in this study because the bone density scan is an expensive test.  If the risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures can be predicted by looking at the wrinkles on a woman’s face, we all win by reducing medical costs and getting early treatment.

Bone fractures are particularly anxiety-provoking for senior women, because of the declining health that generally follows.  You can read more about the study here.  As always, more study is needed to identify relationships between wrinkles and bone density/fractures.  But this one seems to be a good beginning.


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