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22-01-2012 | Bone health | Article

Low BMD does not predict fall risk in postmenopausal women


Free abstract

MedWire News: Bone mineral density (BMD) does not influence postural balance or the risk for falls in postmenopausal women, study findings show.

Instead, the results show that increasing age, smoking, and visual acuity predict an increased risk for falling, whereas hormone replacement therapy reduced the risk for falls, report Eliana Aguiar Petri Nahas and co-workers from Sao Paulo State University in Brazil.

The researchers recruited 225 women aged 45 years or more who were amenorrheic for 12 months or longer, with a T-score value of -2.0 SD or higher (n=140) or -2.0 SD or below (n=85). None of the patients had accentuated spinal deformity, uncorrected visual deficits, or other issues that may affect balance.

The participants were questioned on their recent history of falls, and assessed for postural balance using a force platform.

Analysis showed that patients with a BMD of 2.0 SD or above had more recently undergone the menopause and had a higher body mass index than those with a low BMD.

Overall, 57.8% had fallen within the past 2 years. There was no significant difference between patients with and without a recent fall in terms of clinical or stabilometric characteristics.

However, the risk for falls increasing significantly with age (odds ratio [OR]=1.07), current smoking (OR=2.19), and a corrected visual deficit (OR=9.06), and reduced with the use of hormone therapy (OR=0.48).

"Studies must be performed in order to evaluate the possible factors related to falls so that strategies can be presented with the purpose to minimize their consequences, particularly the fractures in women with low BMD," write Nahas et al in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.

"From the present study, it can be concluded that in postmenopausal women, the BMD was not associated with postural balance or fall risk parameters."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Lynda Williams

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