Wrinkles Are Menopausal Fortune Telling

Early menopause wrinkles foretell a woman's bone density

(RxWiki News) A new Yale University study finds that women who have seriously deep and plentiful wrinkles during the first few years of menopause probably have lower bone density as well.

Lubna Pal, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist and associate professor at Yale School of Medicine reports a new observation that postmenopausal women's wrinkles offer a prediction of the skeletal well-being. She reports the findings as noteworthy, as this association may provide doctors with a visual tool for identifying postmenopausal women who are at risk. Moreover, this visual test may avoiding costly diagnostic tests.

"Ask your doctor if your wrinkles indicate bone health."

Pal explained the unusual connection with bones and skin: they both share common building blocks which are known as collagens. As one ages, collagen depletion occurs. This probably accounts for age related skin changes including wrinkles and sagging jaw line skin. Collagen deterioration also contributes to deteriorating bone quality and quantity.

The study, which is an offshoot of an ongoing trial called the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study, or KEEPS, included 114 women in their late 40's and early 50's who were in early menopause, not taking hormone replacement therapy and had no cosmetic skin procedures to date.

These women were scored based on visible face and neck wrinkles. The score included consideration for the number of wrinkles and the severity of the wrinkles.  Skin firmness on the forehead and cheek were also evaluated. 

Bone density was also measured on all the participants by dual X-ray absorptiometry(DEXA) and a portable heel ultrasound device.

Study participants also underwent measurement of bone density by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and by a portable heel ultrasound device.

The investigators found the higher the wrinkles scores, i.e. the worse the wrinkles, the lower the bone density. Furthermore, the lower wrinkle scores were associated with greater bone density.

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Review Date: 
June 3, 2011