Dear colleagues and friends,
I’m pleased to have been invited to edit a special edition of the International Journal of Environmental Science and Public Health(open access, peer reviewed, IF 2.1) on New Concepts in Women’s Bone Health. I’m writing to invite you to submit your appropriate data in this coherent issue. The venue is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal we refer you to http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph. To learn more about this special issue please visit this link: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph/special_issues/women-bone-health.
Our current concepts about women and bone health go back to the 1930s and 1940s, shortly after estradiol was first characterized and became used as a therapy. In that era, estrogen was “the” women’s hormone, menopause was “estrogen-deficiency”, all women’s osteoporosis was considered “postmenopausal” and the anti-resorptive actions of estrogen were the gold standard for osteoporosis treatment. Both basic and clinical sciences as well as public health have advanced since then. Now we must consider many other variables related to women’s bone health—in utero and childhood environments, peak bone mass, the development and maintenance of ovulatory menstrual cycles, insulin resistance and obesity, emotional/social/nutritional stressors, exercise and energy sufficiency, inflammation and oxidation, urban versus rural environments and air pollution, anti-depressants, combined hormonal contraceptives and other common medications and even hot flushes and night sweats. We are only starting to understand sex/gender differences in bone metabolism and fracture risk since, until recently, osteoporosis has been considered an “old woman’s disease.”
To improve public health, we must understand how to prevent the fragility fractures that are the negative outcome of areal bone mineral density (BMD) (and other characteristics) that are inadequate for the time in a woman’s life cycle and for her environmental challenges. We also now know that fracture prevention relates to bone strength and micro-architecture as well as to BMD and its rate of change, genetic, reproductive, environmental and developmental characteristics.
Our current method for assessing areal BMD only became widely available in the late 1990s. Thus, although we have prospective “snap shots” of BMD changes over short timeframes, very few long, prospective studies have had fragility fracture as the outcome. Clearly estradiol suppresses bone resorption but bone remodeling has two main phases; it is not clear (once growth is complete) what promotes women’s bone formation. In addition, new understandings of women’s bone health must include understanding dietary patterns, macronutrients and vitamin D, as well as inflammation.
This Special Issue is open to any subject area related to the physiology of bone health across woman’s lifecycle, to social/emotional/environmental challenges that are unique to women and to therapies that ensure resorption/formation bone balance to prevent fragility fractures. Our goal is to gather and present the newest data about women’s bone health and fracture prevention, to revise outmoded concepts, and ultimately to improve public health for women of all ages.
The listed keywords below suggest just a few of the many possibilities.
- Areal Bone Mineral Density (BMD)
- Volumetric Bone Mineral Density/micro-architecture/strength
- Incident fragility fracture risk including morphometric vertebral fractures
- Peak bone mass
- Adolescent bone health
- Premenopausal bone health
- Perimenopausal bone health
- Reproductive changes related to bone health
- Common medications related to women’s bone health—e.g. combined hormonal contraceptives, antidepressants, agents for treatment of diabetes and obesity, chemotherapy
- Common diseases related to women’s bone health—polycystic ovary syndrome, celiac disease, liver diseases, kidney diseases, cystic fibrosis, living with HIV
- Physical activity related to women’s bone health
- Dietary patterns, macro and micronutrients and women’s bone health
- Environmental issues and women’s bone health
- Obesity, insulin resistance, sarcopenia and frailty related to women’s bone health
- Emotional/psychological and mental health issues related to women’s bone health
Looking forward to working with you on this exciting adventure,
Dr. Jerilynn C. Prior