A recent study that correlates height loss and fatal fractures places an emphasis on bone health and osteoporosis prevention.The study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, found that women over the age of 65 who lost more than two inches over 15 years were 50 percent more likely to fracture a bone and die in the following five years. Women who shrunk less than two inches did not show these results.
"Most women do lose height as they age, but we found that those who lost more than two inches were at higher risk of breaking a bone and of dying," said lead author Dr. Teresa Hillier, an endocrinologist and senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon. "These women were at higher risk of dying from a fracture, but they were also at higher risk of dying from more common causes, including heart disease."
The study suggests that doctors do not need to wait until they have two height measurements to be proactive about fracture prevention, Hillier added. Although this has been the standard in the past, physicians should not feel any restrictions on suggesting bone density testing, counseling or treatment to help prevent fractures, the study reports.