Latest news articles and research Jan 2014

new-magazines-1110330-mIn an effort to continue to bring our readers the most relevant news regarding bone health and related issues, we’re starting a new blog post category called ‘News roundup.’ We’ll provide you with the links to interesting research and news articles. Even though we may not be able to break down the evidence and evaluate the articles fully, we will comment on each news article briefly. And of course, larger  and more significant studies will continue to receive attention in the form of single blog posts.

Here’s what we’ve got for you this week:

Osteoarthritis Patients Will Benefit from Exercise That Strengthens Bones: “The postmenopausal women who may be at risk of osteoporosis (bone loss), as well as at risk of osteoarthritis, can safely carry out progressive high-impact training to maintain bone health and physical function. This was found out in a study conducted in the Department of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.”

Comment: This is an interesting study which shows that high-impact training done in a progressive manner, increases bone density after one year. However keep in mind that this was a very small study — 36 people in the high-impact exercise group and 40 people in the control group. In addition, the participants had mild knee osteoarthritis, which means the results can’t be applied to people with more advance osteoporosis or osteoarthritis. Our advice for now is to continue to stick to low-impact exercises if you have osteoporosis and work with a certified exercise professional if you would like to incorporate more bone-friendly exercises into your exercise routine.

Experts warn: increase in Hong Kong’s over 70s population to cause dramatic rise in hip fractures by 2025: “A new report issued today by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) shows that broken bones due to osteoporosis pose a major and growing health problem in the Asia-Pacific. With its rapidly ageing population, Hong Kong will be among the areas most affected in the near future.”

Comment: This is an interesting report because it mirrors what is happening in many countries across the world. Dr Andrew Ho, President, Osteoporosis Society of Hong Kong, says “Osteoporosis has been a major public health problem in Hong Kong but this disease has not received due attention from the policy makers as compared to other chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cardiac or cerebrovascular diseases and dementia.” Canada is in a similar situation as well. According to Osteoporosis Canada, osteoporosis-related fractures are more common than heart attacks, stroke, and breast cancer combined. The sad reality is that many of these fractures are not diagnosed and patients often suffer multiple fractures before osteoporosis is identified as the culprit. The good news is that slowly, we are seeing more and more fracture programs and osteoporosis specialists making it a priority to ensure that patients are accurately diagnosed. Visit Osteoporosis Canada’s website to learn about their initiatives to tackle the growing osteoporosis problem in Canada.

For Fitness, Intensity Matters: “the lesson that seemed to emerge most persistently from the fitness-related studies published this year was that intensity matters, especially if you wish to complete your workout quickly.”

Comment: This article provides a good overview of exercise studies published this year. The common thread between most of these exercise studies was that the amount of effort you spend exercising may matter more than the time you spend exercising. For people who do not have osteoporosis and have no other health issues, consider increasing the intensity of your workouts to get the most health benefits out of your exercise. But if you have osteoporosis or a heart condition, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, high blood pressure or any other bone or joint condition, you should talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program and before engaging in high-intensity or high-impact exercises.

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