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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 10:53 EDT

Wrinkles Predict Bone Fracture Risk

June 9, 2011

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — It’s not just skin and bones! Wrinkles may be able to predict a woman’s bone fracture risk, according to this study. The severity and distribution of skin wrinkles and overall skin quality could tell the story of bone mineral density in early menopausal women.

The findings were presented this month at the Endocrine Society Meeting in Boston, Mass., by Lubna Pal, associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Science at Yale School of Medicine.

“Skin and bones share common building blocks””proteins, and aging is accompanied by changes in skin and deterioration of bone quantity and quality,” Lubna Pal, associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Science at Yale School of Medicine, was quoted as saying.

Pal and her research team studied this theory in a subgroup of early menopausal women within three years of their last menstrual period. The investigators assessed skin wrinkles at 11 locations on the face and neck using a pictoral scale in 114 of the enrollees, and assessed skin rigidity at the forehead and the cheek using a device called the durometer. Skeletal mass and density were studied by dual X-ray absorptiometery as well as by a portable heel ultrasound device.

“We found that deepening and worsening skin wrinkles are related to lower bone density among the study participants,” said Pal, who is director of the Reproductive Aging and Bone Health Program at Yale. “The worse the wrinkles, the lesser the bone density, and this relationship was independent of age or of factors known to influence bone mass.”

In contrast to the skin wrinkles, Pal further noted, higher durometer scores”“indicating higher skin rigidity””related to better bone density.

“Our findings that the appearance and physical properties of the skin can reflect the quality of the skeleton are noteworthy because this may allow clinicians to identify fracture risk in postmenopausal women ‘at a glance’ without depending on costly tests,” said Pal.

SOURCE: Endocrine Society Meeting held in Boston, Mass. on June 6, 2011