The findings were published recently in the peer-reviewed Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
According to recent UCLA study, doctors may be able to tell if bone loss brought on by menopause is already happening or is about to start by checking the level of a hormone that decreases as a woman gets closer to her last menstrual cycle.
The results could guide doctors in deciding when and how to treat bone loss in postmenopausal women 42 and older, before that loss of bone results in serious health problems.
During the menopause transition, an approximately three-year phase that precedes the last menstrual period and is accompanied by additional symptoms like irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, and mood and sleep disturbances, women endure considerable bone loss. As a woman approaches her last menstrual period, AMH levels decrease.
“Bone loss typically begins about a year before a woman’s last menstrual period, To be able to intervene and reduce the rate and amount of bone loss, there is a need to know if this loss is imminent or already ongoing,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Arun Karlamangla, a professor of medicine in the division of geriatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
After reviewing and analyzing the data from the multisite, multiethnic Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, or SWAN, which looked at the changes women go through as they approach menopause.
Researchers discovered that by two to three years after the date a doctor makes the forecast, 17% of premenopausal women age 42 or older will have lost a significant portion of their peak bone mass. However, nearly twice as many, or 33%, of those with AMH levels under 50 picograms per milliliter of blood will have lost a significant portion of peak bone mass during the same period. (One trillionth of a gram is a picogram.)
The study has several drawbacks, including the inapplicability of it to women who are currently taking osteoporosis drugs. had a hysterectomy prior to their last period. took exogenous sex hormones while going through menopause. Additionally, neither Hispanic women nor women who went through menopause before the age of 42 were included in the study.