Decline in young adults' bone mineral density linked to COVID-19 pandemic

A decline in young adults’ bone mineral density linked to COVID-19 pandemic  – A study published in the American Journal of Human Biology has found that the COVID-19 pandemic has been linked to a significant decrease in bone mineral density (BMD) in young adults.

The study, conducted by researchers at Comenius University in Slovakia, compared bone health measurements of 387 young adults who were assessed both before and during the pandemic. The researchers found that participants who were assessed during the pandemic had lower BMD and total bone mineral content (BMC) than those who were assessed before the pandemic.

These findings suggest that the pandemic-related lifestyle changes, such as reduced physical activity and increased sedentary behavior, may have contributed to the decrease in BMD and BMC. The researchers also note that the decrease in BMD may be a long-term effect of the pandemic and could increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures in later life.

“Our findings raise the possibility that the COVID-19 pandemic may have had a negative impact on bone health in young adults,” said Lenka Vorobeľová, PhD, co-corresponding author of the study. “This is a concerning observation, as it could lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures in the future.”

The researchers are calling for further research to investigate the long-term effects of the pandemic on bone health. They also recommend that young adults take steps to maintain bone health, such as getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough vitamin D.

Key findings of the study

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has been linked to a significant decrease in BMD and BMC in young adults.
  • The decrease in BMD and BMC may be due to pandemic-related lifestyle changes, such as reduced physical activity and increased sedentary behavior.
  • The decrease in BMD may be a long-term effect of the pandemic and could increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures in later life.

Recommendations for young adults

  • Get regular exercise: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Make sure your diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Get enough vitamin D: The recommended daily intake of vitamin D for adults is 600 IU. You can get vitamin D from sunlight, food, or supplements.

Additional research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms underlying pandemic-related bone loss and identify effective strategies for bone health preservation in the post-pandemic era.

Here are some additional tips for maintaining bone health:

  • Get enough calcium: The recommended daily intake of calcium for adults is 1,000 mg. You can get calcium from dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and fortified foods.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking can contribute to bone loss.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can also contribute to bone loss.
  • Talk to your doctor: If you are concerned about your bone health, talk to your doctor. They can recommend a bone density test and other preventive measures.

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