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New review outlines screening strategies for osteoporosis in young adults
Date:6/19/2012

Nyon, Switzerland June 15, 2012 -- Much of the research defining osteoporosis and fracture risk has focused on older adults, i.e. postmenopausal women and men over the age of 50. While older adults are at highest risk of osteoporosis and related fractures, the disease can also affect younger adults between 20 and 50 years of age. However, the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in young adults is complicated by special challenges, including a complex pathophysiology and the related fact that there is no clear definition of osteoporosis, or of intervention thresholds, in this age group.

An International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) scientific working group has now published a review which outlines the pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in young adults, providing a clear screening strategy that includes the use of clinical and laboratory exams.

Dr. Serge Ferrari of the University of Geneva andchair of the IOF Working Group on Osteoporosis Pathophysiology, explains the diagnostic challenge faced by clinicians, "Low bone mass in this age group may not necessarily represent a pathological condition, but result instead from low peak bone mass in relation to body size, late puberty, or genetic and environmental background."

On the other hand, there are young adults who may truly have osteoporosis with bone fragility at a young age. This may result from altered bone modelling and/or remodelling during growth or later due to a chronic disorder or a genetic or idiopathic condition. Typical examples would be inflammatory bowel diseases, particularly Crohn's disease. These diseases impair bone mass gain and/or accelerate bone loss because of malabsorption and poor nutrient intake. In addition, low levels of physical activity, secondary amenorrhea, and in many cases the effects of corticosteroid treatment, can have an impact on bone mass.

Distinguishing between these two situations can be all the more dif
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Contact: L. Misteli
info@iofbonehealth.org
41-229-940-100
International Osteoporosis Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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