Osteoporosis: the quality of social relationships affects bone health

Psychosocial stress would increase the risk of fracture due to the degradation of bone density.

Postmenopausal women are particularly affected by osteoporosis: as the age increases, the risk increases. 70% of women over 80 would be affected. According to a new study, the quality of social life would have an impact on the risk of osteoporosis.

The more social pressure there is, the greater the bone loss

In this study published in the British Medical Journalthe researchers studied the profiles of more than 11,000 women over the age of 50: all responded to a questionnaire about psychosocial stress. Three criteria were mainly studied by the researchers: the social pressure, linked for them to relations of bad quality, the social support, which is the opposite is attached to relations of good quality and the social functioning, which determines the level of social activity.

According to their findings, social pressure is the most important factor affecting bone health. The greater the stress, the greater the bone loss in the hips. The research team developed a point scale to determine the level of social pressure: the higher the number of points, the greater the social pressure. They found that at each additional point, the bone loss increased: for the femur, for example, each point was equivalent to 0.082% additional bone loss. In parallel, a low level of social activity was associated with more bone loss especially at the femur and hip.

A risk of fracture

"Psychosocial stress increases the risk of fracture due to the degradation of bone density, researchers say, which degrades bone structure." For people with osteoporosis, some fractures are more common than others, including those of the wrist, hip and vertebrae. After 50 years, one in four French women would be affected by osteoporosis against one in eight French people.

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