Overweight seniors may be susceptible to developing osteoporosis


November 2, 2011

Is your relative unable to taste food like he or she used to?Being overweight as a senior can bring its own unique set of worrisome issues, as obesity has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and according to a new study, osteoporosis, which could lead to falls and fractures.

Researchers from Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, found a link between the body's obesity hormones – adiponcetin – and a person's development of osteoporosis. During their study, scientists looked at 11,000 senior men from Sweden, the U.S. and Hong Kong. Each participant's obesity hormone levels were tested and researchers found that those who had high levels of adipocetin, also showed signs of osteoporosis.

"High levels of adiponectin in the elderly seem to be associated with both reduced functioning of the musculature and a more fragile skeleton," said Dan Mellström, the lead researcher. "This means a higher risk of fractures and falls, and also increased mortality.

This can be dangerous for seniors living alone as falling when no one is around can be deadly. Family members worried about an aging loved one may want to install a medical alert system that a senior can use to call for help in an instant.