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Osteoporosis is a huge public health problem for menopausal women all over the world, both in developing and in developed countries. Roughly one in three menopausal women suffers from osteoporosis and one in two from osteopenia. Prevention is the main stay for osteoporosis. It is very important to study all aspects of a woman’s life that can lead to later development of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis has been studied extensively in relationship to ethnicity, geographical variations and estrogen depletion in menopause. However, the negative relationship of lactation duration and effect of pregnancies with postmenopausal osteoporosis is still inconclusive. The definite role of hormone replacement therapy in the prevention of osteoporosis is now a resolved issue. In a study by Hwang and colleagues [1], a cross-sectional survey based on the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2010 and 2011 data (n = 1222 postmenopausal women), showed that a duration of breastfeeding longer than 37 months was associated with higher prevalence of osteoporosis in postmenopause and more fractures of the lumbar spine. A duration of lactation longer than 37 months was associated with low bone mineral density (BMD) in the lumbar spine and hip; the number of spinal fractures was increased (37 or more months, odds ratio (OR) 3.292; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.485–7.23). But, interestingly, the number of deliveries had no relationship with postmenopausal BMD.

Author(s)

  • Maninder Ahuja
    Ahuja Hospital &Infertility Centre, Faridabad, India

Citations

  1. Hwang IR, Choi YK, Lee WK, et al. Association between prolonged breastfeeding and bone mineral density and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women: KNHANES 2010–2011. Osteoporos Int 2015;27:257-65
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26373982
  2. Grimes JP, Wimalawansa SJ. Breastfeeding and postmenopausal osteoporosis. Curr Womens Health 2003;3:193-8
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12734029
  3. Shilbayeh S. Prevalence of osteoporosis and its reproductive risk factors among Jordanian women: a cross-sectional study. Osteoporos Int 2003;14:929-40
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14530908
  4. Yun BH, Chon SJ, Choi YS, Cho S, Lee BS, Seo SK. The effect of prolonged breast-feeding on the development of postmenopausal osteoporosis in population with insufficient calcium intake and vitamin D level. Osteoporos Int 2016;27:2745-53
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27048389
  5. Yun BH, Choi YR, Choi YS, Cho S, Lee BS, Seo SK. Age at first delivery and osteoporosis risk in Korean postmenopausal women: The 2008–2011 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). PLoS One 2015 May 6;10(5):e0123665
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25946162
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