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Hot flashes linked to increased risk of hip fracture

Jan 28, 2015 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
According to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, women who experience moderate to severe hot flashes and night sweats during menopause tend to have a lower bone density and higher rates of hip fracture than peers who do not have menopausal symptoms. About 60 percent of women experience hot flashes, which can last for several years.

Postmenopausal women face a greater risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become structurally weak and more likely to break, than either younger women or men. The risk for this group is higher because the menopausal transition speeds the body's normal process of bone loss. In postmenopausal women, the body tends to break down old bone tissue faster than it can be replaced.

“More research is needed to illuminate the connection between bone health and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes,” said one of the study's authors, Carolyn J. Crandall, M.D., M.S., of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Improved understanding would help clinicians advise women on how to better prevent osteoporosis and other bone conditions. Women who have hot flashes and want to protect their bones may benefit from healthy lifestyle habits such as avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and exercising and getting sufficient calcium and vitamin D.”

--Sarah Hagerty
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