The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, Oct. 9-12

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The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) annual meeting

The annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research was held from October 9 to 12 in Seattle and attracted approximately 4,000 participants from around the world, including basic research scientists and clinical investigators in bone and mineral metabolism as well as physicians and other health care practitioners. The conference focused on the latest advances in bone and mineral research as well as the translation of research into clinical practice.

In one study, Joan C. Lo, M.D., of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, and colleagues evaluated a large population of women in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California system who started bisphosphonate therapy for either prevention or treatment of osteoporosis.

The investigators found that the risk of having an atypical femur fracture was low. However, the risk was more than six times higher in Asian women than Caucasian women.

"Our study found that Asian women were at substantially greater risk for an atypical femur fracture, and this finding was not explained by differences in length of treatment and many of the other factors we examined," said Lo. "When counseling Asian women regarding continuation of bisphosphonate drugs beyond the first few years, they should be made aware that an increased risk has been observed in Asians compared to other race groups. Future studies should investigate the mechanisms that might contribute to these findings and whether this risk varies among Asian subpopulations."

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In another study, Richard L. Prince, M.D., of the University of Western Australia in Perth, and colleagues evaluated the effect of black tea consumption on the risk of osteoporotic fracture among 1,188 elderly women. The investigators assessed the risk of any osteoporotic fracture among women who consumed three cups of tea per day versus those who consumed one or less per week after 10 years.

After adjusting for differences between the groups, the investigators found that those who consumed three cups of tea per day as compared to those who consumed one or less per week experienced a lower rate of fracture.

"The mechanism has been related to the flavonoid content of tea," said Prince. "Tea is a major source of flavonoids in many populations. Previous studies, including ours, have demonstrated beneficial effects on bone structure as measured by higher bone density. Right now tea consumption of three cups a day or more should be encouraged for use in unselected populations. Older people in Australia and the U.S. consume more tea than younger individuals and should be advised to continue as another way of remaining healthy in addition to achieving national guidelines for calcium by food or with or without supplementation and, depending on sun exposure, sufficient vitamin D to maintain vitamin status."

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Cyrus Cooper, D.M., of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues evaluated the effect of maternal vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy on offspring bone mass. The investigators found a beneficial effect but only for pregnancies that end in a winter birth.

"All women require 400 IU vitamin D during pregnancy. For women over winter months, this might need to be as high as 1,000 IU," said Cooper.

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