GENES AND BONES
ANCHOR LEAD: TWO GENES HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED THAT MAY PREDICT OSTEOPOROSIS RISK, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Two new genes have been identified that may allow physicians to predict who is at risk for developing osteoporosis. Together these genes increase risk about as much as factors such as very lean body mass. Michelle Bellantoni, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins, says identifying genes has important implications for management of at risk people.
BELLANTONI: It offers the ability to be preventive in healthcare. So once we establish a genetic link we can begin to screen and then target our healthcare preventions to individuals who will most benefit, and secondly, as we understand better the metabolism and the genetics of metabolism it offers the potential for therapies. :21
While medications to manage osteoporosis are generally considered safe, there are side effects for many of them that can be troublesome, so determining who may actually benefit from these drugs is desirable. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.