Controversial Health Topic: Do Wrinkles Predict Fragile Bones?

About one in two women over the age of 50 break a bone due to osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, but postmenopausal women at risk aren’t always screened for it. So could the state of your skin help improve osteoporosis screening?

When Yale researchers studied 100 women in their late 40s and early 50s who had just entered menopause, they found that women with the most and deepest wrinkles also had the lowest bone density at major sites such as the hip and spine.

Bone and skin share common building blocks, a group of proteins known as collagens, which decrease with age, says study author Lubna Pal, MD, director of the Program for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Pal stumbled upon this research seven years ago, when she presented a study showing that women with low ovarian reserves (egg stores) also had lower bone density. “As many of my patients approached menopause, they complained about changes in their skin and thinning of their hair,” says Dr. Pal. “It made me wonder if similar things were going on inside—as they were losing collagen in their skin, were they also losing it in their bones?”

But don’t panic about the strength of your skeleton if your face is full of wrinkles (and Dr. Pal says we need more long-term studies to fully understand the relationship between wrinkles and fractures). Your complexion is heavily influenced by other factors such as sun exposure and genetics, cautions Felicia Cosman, MD, spokes­person for the National Osteoporosis Foundation, so you may not necessarily need a bone scan.

How You Can Use the News
If you’re going through menopause and have noticed a bevy of wrinkles, talk to your primary-care physician about whether you should have a baseline bone-density scan, especially if you have other risk factors such as a family history of osteoporosis, being overweight, smoking, or heavy drinking (more than two drinks a day).

More Controversial Health Topics:
Are gluten issues caused by C-sections? »
Is depression an inflammatory disorder? »
Is obesity caused by a virus? »
Does the herpes virus cause Alzheimer’s? »
Is electricity making us sick and fat?»

Controversial Health Topic: Do Wrinkles Predict Fragile Bones?Adam Voorhes

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram

@kristencarney

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.

@sixthformpoet

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”

@NicCageMatch

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
—Alcohol

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy