A computerised study of hip bones suggests that certain exercises could limit the steep increase in hip fracture risk that occurs as people grow old, British researchers report.
Thinning of cortex linked to type of exercise
That thinning reduces the amount of energy the femur can absorb before buckling to cause a hip fracture, the researchers said. And the reason the thinning occurs is that older people tend to limit their exercise to walking, which does not strengthen the cortex of the femur, they suggested.
The investigators found that the cortex, the outer layer of the femur, became progressively thinner with age. The thickness of the cortex in women decreased 6.4 percent every decade, and the reduction was only slightly less for men.
Solution may not be that simple
But Charles H. Turner, a professor of biomedical engineering at Indiana University School of Medicine, said the solution may not be that simple.
Exercises would only be a partial solution
But even identifying such exercises would only be a partial solution to the problem of hip fractures in the elderly, said Dr Kenneth A. Egol, chief of the fracture service at New York University-Hospital for Joint Diseases.
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