Question:There seems to be quite a few older adults in my family with hip fractures from osteoporosis. Is this a hereditary disease?
There is new evidence that genetics plays a role in osteoporosis. Many different genes affect bone growth. Genes to code the structure of proteins that help build bone are important. Genes involved in making sex hormones are involved. Estrogen and testosterone are key factors in bone growth.
Vitamin D is needed for calicum to be used in forming bone. A special gene is linked with this activity, too. In general these kinds of genes are called osteoporosis candidate genes. Any changes in these genes can cause a problem with bone growth.
en seem to be more affected by genetic factors than women. Studies of families show bone mass is lower in relatives of men with osteoporosis. Increasing age seems to be related to increased bone loss in men with certain types of gene structure.
More research is needed in this area to know what and how genetics plays a role in osteoporosis. There may be some major differences between genetic factors in men versus women.Harlan Stock, MD, et al. Osteoporosis: A Disease in Men. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. August 2004. Vol. 425. Pp. 143-151.
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