Birth weight is associated with osteoporosis risk later in life

New research published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research has linked heavier birth weight with lower bone mineral density and a higher risk of bone fracture later in life.

The research, which relied on data from the UK Biobank, the Early Growth Genetics consortium, and the Genetic Factors for Osteoporosis consortium, also found evidence that differences in genes that affect birth weight can influence a person’s osteoporosis risk.

The findings may be helpful for determining individuals’ risks of developing osteoporosis as they age.

“This multi-stage study found consistent causal associations between birth weight and osteoporosis risk,” said senior author Shu-Feng Lei, Ph.D., of the Medical College of Soochow University, in China. “Our results may enhance our understanding of the effects of fetal characteristics on outcomes in late adulthood and could provide clues related to early prevention of osteoporosis.”