Bone and Mineral Metabolism
Considered a major public health threat to an estimated 44 million Americans or 55 percent of people age 50 and older, osteoporosis has been reported in people of all ethnic backgrounds.
- Osteoporosis leads to bone fragility and increased susceptibility to fractures of the hip, spine and wrist, causing bones to weaken and break from minor falls or simple actions, such as a sneeze.
- The number of fractures attributed to osteoporosis is expected to rise to over 3 million by 2025.
- Women comprise an estimated 80 percent of patients with this disease, characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue.
- The condition remains under-recognized and under-treated in Caucasian and African American women, and risk is increasing most rapidly among Hispanic women.
- Bones are metabolically very active, rebuilding bone structure, producing red and white blood cells and producing hormones that can affect other bodily functions and may even play a role in developing diabetes and obesity.
For decades, Winthrop-University Hospital has been internationally recognized as a leader in osteoporosis research, with supporting grants from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health and the pharmaceutical industry. The Hospital’s bone mineral specialists conduct basic science and clinical bone metabolism studies, examining pathogenic mechanisms responsible for the development of skeletal fragility and osteoporosis.
WUH Researchers’ Study:
- Effects of calcium and estrogen on bone mass and body composition in an ethnically diverse population
- Use of vitamin D in elderly African-American women.
- Effects of growth hormone on bone metabolism.
- Novel approaches towards the treatment of painful osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures.
- new treatments such as percutaenous lumbar decompression
- the metabolism and regulation of bone formation and resorption activities via bone histomorphometric and microscopic image analysis
- the pathogenesis and cellular mechanisms of metabolic bone diseases
- rodent models of osteoporosis to evaluate the efficacy of hormonal therapy and nutritional supplementation.
- Effects of green tea’s polyphenols and antioxidatives on bone health