Doctors have long known that extra body weight can put extra pressure on the body's joints, but Australian health specialists have identified a genetic link between obesity, diabetes, and hip fractures in women.
Researchers from Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research have demonstrated defects in the so-called FTO (obesity, fat, diabetes) gene can increase the risk of hip fracture by as much as 82 percent.
In a report on the findings, published online in the journal Clinical Endocrinology
, researchers said the discovery has the potential to improve prediction of hip fracture, which has also been linked with advancing age, falls, history of fracture, low bone mineral density, low body mass index (BMI), and other genetic factors.
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"We found that for a woman of the same age and same clinical risk factors, those with the high-risk genotype have an increased risk of hip fracture of 82 percent — a strong effect in genetic terms," said lead researcher Tuan Nguyen.
"Interestingly, this effect was independent of both the bone density and BMI of the women we studied."
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