Posts tagged with "Stress leads to high blood cortisol levels"

Have a bone to pick? Difficult or stressful relationships are linked to bone loss by researchers

October 11, 2019

When life is hard, women’s bones may get more malleable: Those are the findings of a study posted recently by the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

The study findings, which were posted online on July 9, established that women who reported high levels of social stress were more apt to develop a lower bone density over time, reports Harvard Health..

Researchers enrolled more than 11,000 postmenopausal women in the study, and asked them to fill out a questionnaire about their social anxiety levels; and to take a bone density measurement test.

At a follow-up appointment fully six years later, women who had reported high levels of stress at the initial interview showed a bigger decline in bone density, compared with participants who initially had reported lower stress levels.

 This was true even after the researchers adjusted for other factors that may affect bone health, such as age, weight, smoking, alcohol use, and education, among others.

The authors speculated that stress may harm bone health because stress leads to higher blood cortisol levels, a well-established reason for lower bone density. Further study is needed to understand and confirm the results.

Research contact: @HarvardHealth