A new study indicates that bone strength may be inherited and that its genetic determinants are to some extent shared with bone mineral density.
The findings may be used to help inform other studies seeking to identify specific genetic variants underlying susceptibility to fractures. Knowledge of molecular mechanisms underlying bone strength is important for predicting individuals' fracture risk and for developing effective prevention and treatment strategies.
"Having high resolution three-dimensional images allowed us to estimate the strength of the bone, called failure load, using a technique called micro-finite element analysis," said Dr. Douglas Kiel, senior author of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study. "We were able to then determine that actual bone strength is an inherited measurement. Future genetic studies of bone can use this measure to learn about genes that are important to skeletal health."