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Study Links Cognitive Decline with Both Bone Loss and Fracture Risk

The relationship between cognitive decline, bone loss, and fracture risk may be driven by shared risk factors

Jul 22, 2021
Wiley

New research published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research has found that cognitive decline is linked with accelerated bone loss and an increased fracture risk in women.

In the study of 1,741 women and 620 men aged 65 years without dementia who were followed from 1997 through 2013, both genders experienced similar declines in cognitive function and bone mass.

After adjustments, cognitive decline was associated with bone loss in women but not men. Also, significant and clinically important cognitive decline in women was associated with a 1.7-fold higher risk of bone fractures over the subsequent 10 years.

Notably, the relationship between bone loss and cognitive decline was bidirectional with no evidence of one preceding the other. The relationship between cognitive decline, bone loss, and fracture risk in women may be driven by shared risk factors. 

"These findings may help refine clinical practices guidelines regarding how bone loss and cognitive decline can be monitored in older age, to ensure appropriate and effective treatment," said lead author Dana Bliuc, PhD, MD, of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, in Australia. "This is particularly important because both bone loss and cognitive decline are 'silent conditions' that can go undetected for long periods of time, often until the conditions have severely progressed."

- This press release was originally published on the Wiley website