Osteoporosis: A Lifecourse Approach

Authors

  • Nicholas Harvey,

    1. Medical Research Council (MRC) Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK
    2. National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
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  • Elaine Dennison,

    1. Medical Research Council (MRC) Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK
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  • Cyrus Cooper

    Corresponding author
    1. Medical Research Council (MRC) Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK
    2. National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
    3. NIHR Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, University of Oxford, Nuffield Orthopedic Centre, Headington, Oxford, UK
    • Address correspondence to: Cyrus Cooper, MA, DM, FRCP, FMedSci, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK. E-mail: cc@mrc.soton.ac.uk

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ABSTRACT

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the risk of developing osteoporosis is accrued throughout the entire lifecourse, even from as early as conception. Thus early growth is associated with bone mass at peak and in older age, and risk of hip fracture. Novel findings from mother-offspring cohorts have yielded greater understanding of relationships between patterns of intrauterine and postnatal growth in the context of later bone development. Study of biological samples from these populations has helped characterize potential mechanistic underpinnings, such as epigenetic processes. Global policy has recognized the importance of early growth and nutrition to the risk of developing adult chronic noncommunicable diseases such as osteoporosis; testing of pregnancy interventions aimed at optimizing offspring bone health is now underway. It is hoped that through such programs, novel public health strategies may be established with the ultimate goal of reducing the burden of osteoporotic fracture in older age. © 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

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