Anxiety Tied to Fracture Risk in Postmenopausal Women

Anxiety Tied to Fracture Risk in Postmenopausal Women

As women age, they start to become more at risk for fracturing a bone. Older women who experience symptoms of anxiety are even more at risk for not just fractures, but overall reduced skeletal health. New research looked at women past menopause. Women who reported low overall levels of anxiety had only a twenty percent chance of experiencing a bone fracture. This chance went up five percent for women who reported having high levels of anxiety.

The study’s author, a doctor at a university hospital in Italy, concluded anxiety level, when isolated against other factors such as a woman’s general bone density, was itself an independent risk factor. The research, if it can hold up under verification, is important because it can help doctors identify which patients are more likely to suffer painful or even life threatening bone fractures. Such patients who might be a risk for them due to anxiety could be treated, or even convinced to receive treatment for their mental issue based on what might happen to them physically should they be resistant to anxiety treatment.

This study was small, less than two hundred women. The next step in this research would be to expand it, and look at a larger pool of participants to see if the increase risk holds up across a bigger population of patients.

Key Points:

  • 1Older women at or beyond menopause with higher anxiety levels are more prone to osteoporosis.
  • 2Clinical screenings for higher anxiety and depression can possibly help identify those at risk for osteoporosis.
  • 333 percent of women and 20 percent of men in society are likely to experience broken bones because of osteoporosis.

Anxiety levels appeared to be influenced by advanced age, age at menopause, years since menopause and depressive symptoms.

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