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Exercise Can Improve Bone Density in Postmenopausal Women: Study

Update Date: Nov 21, 2012 08:52 AM EST

A research conducted by West Virginia University School of Public Health and the University of Colorado suggests that exercise can reduce risks of osteoporosis and improve bone density in postmenopausal women.

"Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones, increasing the risk of sudden and unexpected fractures. Literally meaning "porous bone," it results in an increased loss of bone mass and strength. The disease often progresses without any symptoms or pain," according to Cleveland

The disease is usually not detected easily and in most cases is discovered only after weakened bones cause painful fractures. Also, once a person suffers an osteoporotic fracture, he/she becomes more likely to suffer another one.

For the current study, researchers examined the effects of exercise on bone density in postmenopausal women. They compiled findings from 25 studies that included 1,775 postmenopausal women.

The exercises suggested in the study included weight-bearing exercises, such as jogging as well as weight lifting. Improvements in bone density were found at the hip and spine, the two most common sites for fracture, Medical Xpress reported.

"Osteoporosis affects an estimated 200 million women worldwide. It is well-established that low bone density leading to fractures of the hip and spine are a major public health problem in postmenopausal women," George A. Kelley, D.A., and Kristi S. Kelley, M.Ed., researchers in the WVU School of Public Health Department of Biostatistics, and Wendy Kohrt, Ph.D., University of Colorado Denver, said.

"These findings suggest that exercise is an important option for improving bone mineral density in postmenopausal women."

The study appears in the November issue of BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.

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