Genetic testing for osteoporosis?

Lila de Tantillo Health Guide
  •  Genetics research is a fascinating field, and it's especially exciting to hear about work being done to understand more completely the hereditary component of osteoporosis. A pair of articles to be published in an upcoming issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (but available online now at http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMoa0801197?query=TOC and http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMe0803046?query=TOC ) discuss recent advances in the work to determine who might be most at risk of low bone mass. 

     

    Of course, even if a genetic test to determine if one is likely to develop osteoporosis were to become available in the future, it would be essential to use such knowledge wisely. One doesn't want to give up and feel resigned if one learns of a tendency toward the condition; conversely, those without such a propensity should not disregard their bone health out of a sense of complacency.

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    It will be wonderful to see what comes of this important work. As the second piece, an editorial, points out, this research could be particularly useful in the development of new drugs to treat osteoporosis.

Published On: April 29, 2008