University Of GothenburgWho would have thought that a hip fracture among grandfathers may actually affect their grandson’s state of health? Well, a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy has claimed for the first time, an association between hip fractures in grandfathers and damaged bone health among their grandsons.

The study apparently illustrates that hip fractures in grandfathers could be connected to low bone density and decreased bone size in their grandsons.

“This is the first time this risk factor for low bone mass has been demonstrated across two generations. This new risk factor may be significant for the diagnosis of low bone mass and suggests possible mechanisms for the inheritance of low bone mass and fracture risk,” commented, Associate professor Mattias Lorentzon, who led the research team at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

The study included approximately 3,700 grandparents and their grandsons from a national register. About 270 of these grandsons appeared to have decreased bone density, in other words less bone mineral in their skeleton. Apparently all of these also had a grandparent who had their hip broken as opposed to those who did not have any relations who had broken a hip and seemed to have standard bone health.

Lorentzon added, “We then divided these men with reduced bone density into two groups. In the first, we looked at those who had a grandmother who had broken a hip. In the second, we looked at whether a grandfather had suffered a hip fracture.”

It seemingly surfaced that those men who had a male family member experience a fracture apparently had up to 5% low bone density and around 4% tinier bones as compared to those who did not. By way of comparison, roughly 10% less bone density could triple the augment of the danger of fractures. The study took into consideration other threat issues for osteoporosis like smoking, physical activity, calcium intake, age, weight and gender.

Lorentzon remarked, “Despite these other risk factors, we could see that bone size is reduced and that this leads to lower bone density, which together means low bone mass – a risk factor for osteoporosis. In other words, they run a greater risk of fractures in the future than their peers. It’s important for health professionals to ask whether grandparents have had hip fractures. This is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.”

This outcome may result in developments in the recognition of patients at augmented threat of osteoporosis.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.