–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new study, published in the journal Menopause, found postmenopausal women with vasomotor symptoms—which include hot flashes and night sweats—had lower bone mineral density in the spine and hip.
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed data from over two thousand women between the ages of forty-two to fifty-two who participated in the bone sub-study of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. The authors of the UCLA study also found premenopausal women and early perimenopausal women who had vasomotor symptoms were found to have lower femoral neck bone mineral density than those without vasomotor symptoms.
According to bone expert, Warren Levy, PhD, although the extent of correlation varied depending on the stage of menopause and the frequency of vasomotor symptoms, the findings did support earlier studies by others that have suggested an association between low estradiol levels, vasomotor symptoms, and low bone density.
“The concept of assessing bone health via the amount or intensity of hot flashes is interesting and may provide another method for screening for osteoporosis,” suggests Dr. Levy, who is also CEO of Unigene Laboratories Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on peptide-based nasally and orally delivered osteoporosis treatments. “However, the gold standard today is a bone scan which is widely available and inexpensive for most patients. The study does help raise awareness about the importance of being vigilant about bone loss during this part of one’s life, and encourages regular bone scans, if possible, because even early perimenopausal women can experience significant bone loss.”