There is a link between osteoporosis and dementia, according to this new study. And that, because the risk factors are similar.
200 million women have osteoporosis worldwide. In France, one in four women is ill after 50 years, compared to one in eight men. Osteoporosis is a long time silent disease. The mass of the bone decreases and the internal architecture of the skeleton becomes fragile.
Consequence: the fractures multiply. In recent decades, several groups of researchers have analyzed the disease, and its link with the risks of cognitive decline, dementia. The latter is a general term that includes several diseases in which brain functions such as thought, memory, orientation, memory and language are disrupted.
Alzheimer's disease is the most well-known form of dementia. Although the link between osteoporosis and dementia has already been established in recent years, published studies were not conducted in Europe. New research, the results of which are published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease correct that.
60,000 patients followed for twenty years
This study, conducted by German researchers, used the IQVIA database, which compiles information on drug prescriptions, diagnostics and demographics, obtained from anonymous computer systems. In all, 60,000 patients were followed between 1993 and 2012, ie for twenty years. Half of the people had osteoporosis, the other half were not. According to the results of the study, osteoporosis was associated with a 1.2-fold higher risk of dementia in women, compared with 1.3 in men.
Similar risk factors
"The main hypothesis to explain the association between osteoporosis dementia is that these two conditions have similar risk factors," says Louis Jacob, co-author of the external study in medicine at the university clinic Paris-Descartes.
These risk factors are genetic, with the APOE4 allele of apolipoprotein E, for example, which is also the most important genetic factor in Alzheimer's disease. Other risk factors include lower vitamin K levels, vitamin D deficiency, and androgens (hormones that cause male sex, such as hair) and estrogen (female hormones).