SATURDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- As if facial wrinkles didn't have a bad enough rap, a new study suggests that the worse a woman's wrinkles are in early menopause, the lower her bone density.
That is not to say that wrinkled skin is being cited as causing poorer skeletal health, merely that the two factors are associated.
But because poor bone density can lead to broken bones, a link between wrinkles and bone density -- if confirmed -- might prompt development of an inexpensive way to identify postmenopausal women at highest risk for fractures, the researchers say.
"We hypothesized that because skin and bone share common tissue architecture, the physical attributes of skin in menopausal women will relate to bone density and bone quality," said study principal author Dr. Lubna Pal, a reproductive endocrinologist and associate professor at Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. "And what we found is consistent with that hypothesis."
Pal and her colleagues are slated to present their findings Monday in Boston at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting.
The authors point out that a possible relationship between bone and skin health could be rooted in the fact that the two share the same building blocks -- proteins called collagens.
Age-related collagen changes, they noted, could explain both the wrinkling and sagging of skin and a simultaneous deterioration of bone quality and quantity.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, about half of all bone loss women experience in a lifetime occurs during the first decade following menopause.
For their study, the research team focused on 114 women in their late 40s and early 50s, drawn from the larger Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS). The latter study was funded by the Aurora Foundation and the Kronos Longevity Research Institute in Phoenix.
All the participants had entered menopa
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