Fracture prone? Blame your genes

April 22nd, 2012 - 2:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, April 22 (IANS) Are you prone to fractures or trip often? If yes, then blame it on some unidentified genetic regions associated with osteoporosis and bone fracture, says a study.

An international team of scientists have now discovered a large number of genetic variants linked to osteoporosis and bone fracture.

Osteoporosis is a silent but devastating age-related disease that kills half of those who fracture their hip after the age of 80 years within 12 months. Women aged over 65 are at greater risk of death after hip fracture than from breast cancer.

Researchers including those from The University of Western Australia (UWA), found that variants in 56 regions of the genome influenced bone mineral density, while 14 of these variants increased the risk of bone fracture, the journal Nature Genetics reported.

Bone mineral density is the most widely used measurement to diagnose osteoporosis and assess the risk of fracture, with higher density tied to with lower risk of fracture, according to a university statement.

In the largest ever genetic study of osteoporosis of its kind, researchers from Holland’s Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, studied more than 80,000 individuals across Europe, North America, East Asia and Australia.

Richard Prince, professor and study co-author from UWA, said osteoporosis was strongly related to gene variation.

“We have found new genes strongly related to bone structure. This latest research has helped pinpoint many factors in critical molecular pathways that may lead to therapeutic treatments,” said Prince.

Researchers also found that women with an excess of bone mineral density-decreasing genetic variants had up to 56 percent higher risk osteoporosis and a 60 percent higher risk of all types of fractures.

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