If you are in menopause before the age of 40, you have a higher fracture risk, even with calcium and vitamin D supplements, says a study.
For years, calcium and vitamin D have been touted for their abilities to increase bone mineral density.
Hormone therapy is also recognised for its ability to help ward off osteoporosis.
That is what prompted this latest study — published online in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) — to evaluate the effectiveness of calcium, vitamin D, and/or hormones in offsetting the higher fracture risks for women experiencing early menopause.
Based on an evaluation of nearly 22,000 women included in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) clinical trials, the researchers found that women younger than 40 years already in menopause had significantly higher risks for fracture than women who experienced menopause between the ages of 40 and 49 or after 50, regardless of treatment intervention.
“This study highlights the need for healthcare providers to take into consideration a woman’s age at menopause onset when evaluating patients for fracture risk,” JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS Executive Director, said in a statement.
“Women at risk for bone loss need 1,200 mg of calcium per day, with adequate vitamin D, and encouraged to get as much as possible through diet due to concern that too much supplemental calcium may increase atherosclerotic plaque in women,” Pinkerton said.
“Women with early menopause should discuss whether they are candidates for hormone therapy with their providers, appropriate amount of calcium, vitamin D and hormones,” Pinkerton pointed out.