Cognitive Decline May Up Bone Loss, Fracture Risk in Older Women

There is a significant association between cognitive decline and both bone loss and fracture risk, independent of aging, in community-dwelling, older women, according to a study published online in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Dana Bliuc, PhD, MD, from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, and colleagues assessed the relationship between cognitive decline, bone loss, and fracture risk using data from 1,741 women and 620 men (≥65 years) participating in the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (follow-up from 1997 to 2013).

The researchers found that the annual percent change in the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) was similar for both genders (women, −0.33; men, −0.34). Cognitive decline was associated with bone loss in women (6.5 percent for each percent decline in MMSE from baseline), but not men, after multivariable adjustment. By year five, approximately 13 percent of participants experienced significant cognitive decline. There was a significant increase in fracture risk among women (multivariable hazard ratio, 1.61).

“These findings may help refine clinical practices guidelines regarding how bone loss and cognitive decline can be monitored in older age, to ensure appropriate and effective treatment,” Bliuc said in a statement. “This is particularly important because both bone loss and cognitive decline are ‘silent conditions’ that can go undetected for long periods of time, often until the conditions have severely progressed.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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