Washington, June 5 (ANI): A new study led by an Indian-origin researcher has found that the worse a woman's skin wrinkles are during the first few years of menopause, the lower her bone density is.
"In postmenopausal women the appearance of the skin may offer a glimpse of the skeletal well-being, a relationship not previously described," said Lubna Pal, a reproductive endocrinologist and associate professor at Yale School of Medicine and the study's principal investigator.
"This information may allow for the possibility of identifying postmenopausal women at fracture risk at a glance, without dependence on costly tests," said Pal.
The study included 114 women in their late 40s and early 50s who had had their last menstrual period within the past three years and who were not taking hormone therapy.
Women received a score for face and neck wrinkles based on the number of sites with wrinkles and on the depth of the wrinkles.
The skin firmness or rigidity was measured at the forehead and the cheek with a device called a durometer. Study participants also underwent measurement of bone density by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and by a portable heel ultrasound device.
The investigators found a significant inverse correlation between the wrinkle score and the bone density, meaning the higher the score (and the worse the wrinkles), the lower the bone density.
This relationship was evident at all skeletal sites-hip, lumbar spine and heel-and was independent of age, body composition or other factors known to influence bone density, said Pal.
Although the connection between bones and skin may seem unclear, Pal explained that they share common building blocks-a group of proteins known as collagens.
As we age, changes in collagen occur that may account for age related skin changes including worsening skin wrinkles and sagging skin, and also contribute to deterioration in bone quality and quantity.
The results will be presented Monday at The Endocrine Society's 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston. (ANI)