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Women With Cognitive Decline At A Higher Risk Of Fractures And Bone Loss

Women With Cognitive Decline At A Higher Risk Of Fractures And Bone Loss

Cognitive decline can put a person at risk of other diseases. A new study has found that cognitive decline in women can increase their risk of bone loss and fracture.

Written by Arushi Bidhuri |Updated : July 26, 2021 11:40 AM IST

Osteoporosis causes bones to deteriorate, increasing the risk of fractures. It takes time to develop, and because there are few visible symptoms, it generally goes untreated until a bone is fractured. Several studies have investigated possible correlations between osteoporosis and dementia in recent decades. Dementia describes various symptoms of cognitive decline, such as forgetfulness. It can be a symptom of some underlying condition or brain disorder.

According to researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, both diseases affect millions of people every year. Studies suggest that osteoporosis affects 200 million people worldwide, and dementia affects more than 35 million statistics that are anticipated to quadruple in the next two decades due to an increase in global life expectancy. As per the results of a study published in the 'Journal of Bone and Mineral Research,' cognitive decline and bone health are linked, and women are at a higher risk.

Cognitive Decline Leads To Risk Of Rapid Bone Loss

As per the results of the study, there is a significant link between a decline in cognitive health and bone loss in women. They found that women's cognitive impairment is connected to rapid bone loss and higher fracture risk. However, the association between the two was weaker and not statistically in men.

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For the study, researchers examined data from the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos), which has been tracking skeletal health in community members since 1995. They examined the cognitive and bone health of 1741 women and 620 women aged 65 years and older, without symptoms of cognitive decline at the beginning of the study. They discovered that increased disability, loss of independence, and an increased risk of mortality are consequences of cognitive decline and bone loss. There is some indication that elderly people with dementia are more likely to suffer hip fractures.

Future Fracture Risk In Women Way Higher In Women

Dr Dana Bliuc from the Garvan Institute, the first author of the paper, said, "We also saw that cognitive decline over the first five years was associated with a 1.7-fold increase in future fracture risk in women in the subsequent 10 years. This was independent of the level of bone loss." Professor Jacqueline Center, Head of the Clinical Studies and Epidemiology lab at Garvan, an endocrinologist at St Vincent's Hospital and senior author of the study said, "While this study could not identify a causal link - whether a decline in cognitive function leads to a decline in bone loss or vice versa - it suggests that cognitive decline should be monitored along with bone health, as a decline in one may signal the need for increased vigilance in the other."

The researchers observed that the association could potentially be mediated by a third factor, such as oestrogen insufficiency, which affects women after menopause and has been independently associated with both bone loss and cognitive impairment.

Keeping this in mind, women who suffer from cognitive decline should be careful and look out for bone problems. Do consult a doctor, in case you experience the symptoms of dementia or bone disease.

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