Revista de Osteoporosis y Metabolismo Mineral

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Category: English

About air pollution and hip fracture

Raised levels of air pollution have recently been been linked to the induction of inflammatory phenomena at both systemic and tissue levels. Chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, reduce bone mineral density (BMD), which leads to an increase in the release of immune cells from the bone marrow. Particulate matter is associated with oxidative damage and inflammation, which can accelerate bone loss and increase the risk of fractures in older adults. However, the association between air pollution and osteoporosis is not yet well defined in the literature.
It seems that there are other indirect routes, such as vitamin D and PTH, which may also be altered by contamination and are involved in bone remodeling [1-8]. In the first place, air pollution (microparticles and ozone) presents a physical barrier to ultraviolet B solar radiation, thus contributing to a lower cutaneous production of vitamin D [2,4,5]. Similarly, a study conducted in the United States [9] indicated the relationship between low levels of PTH in blood and elevated levels of microparticles and carbon in the air, causing indirect harmful effects on bone mass.

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Long-term efficacy and safety of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) in osteoporotic patients treated by percutaneous vertebroplasty

Without a doubt, vertebral fracture (VF) is the most prevalent type of bone rupture in patients with low bone mass [1]. The most recent epidemiological data in the Spanish population indicate about 35% VF prevalence in women over 45 years of age [2]. In men, the prevalence at 50 years is estimated 5 times lower than that of the female population, although this increases beyond 70 years of age [3].
Osteoporotic VFs (OVF) are conservatively treated, usually including rest, analgesia (in combination with muscle relaxants), orthotics and rehabilitation. This treatment is crucial in the first weeks post-fracture, so that proper follow-up usually resolves OVFs effectively. However, in 10-35% of patients, complications may arise from the fracture itself, such as delayed bone union, increased kyphosis, appearance of neurological disorders or the appearance of pseudo-arthrosis (Kümmell’s disease). In these cases, patients frequently do not respond well to conservative treatment, complicating the management of their symptoms. This tends to worsen over time [4].

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Functional impact of sclerostin gene polymorphisms on DNA methylation and gene expression

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and candidate gene studies have found some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the SOST gene, which encodes sclerostin, associated with bone mineral density (BMD) and predisposition to fractures [1-4]. However, the mechanism responsible for this association is unknown. Among the general mechanisms by which genetic variants predispose to complex diseases are epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, that modulate gene transcription directly (locally) or indirectly (remotely) [5]. In this sense, it should be noted that the DNA methylation of the SOST promoter is inversely related to the gene expression levels of the gene [6].
DNA methylation is an epigenetic mark that consists in the addition of a methyl group at the 5 ’position of the cytosine ring, usually in cytosines that precede guanine, forming the so-called CpG sites. They are distributed throughout the genome and abundant in some specific regions, such as promoters, called CpG islands. Methylation levels of CpG sites and/or islands have specific profiles according to the tissue of origin and modulate gene expression in many tissues, including bone [7-10].

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Factors that influence the results of bone ultra-microindentation tests. An experimental study in rats

Fragility fractures are the relevant hallmark of osteoporosis [1]. The risk of fracture is closely related to bone strength, which, in turn, depends on bone mass, geometry and material quality [2-6]. Bone mass and geometry can be evaluated clinically using bone densitometry and high resolution imaging techniques. However, the mechanical properties of bone tissue are more difficult to explore. These properties determine bone quality, a concept that represents the intrinsic capacity of tissue to resist tension states, regardless of the amount of material (bone density) or its spatial distribution (bone architecture). Bone quality depends on the chemical composition and organization of the bone matrix [7].
In an indentation or hardness test, a sample is subjected to quasi-static loading by means of a small indenter, recording the size of the resulting footprint; Sometimes the curve that relates the applied load and the displacement experienced by the indenter during the test is also determined. Hardness is defined as the maximum force applied divided by the area of the footprint that remains in the material after the test. Hardness is the property of the material that characterizes its resistance to permanent/plastic deformation [8].

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How to merge Orthogeriatrics Units with Fracture Coordination Units (FCU). Experience in the Joan XXIII Health Complex of Tarragona

Current scientific evidence and practical clinical guidelines recommend primary and secondary prevention of fragility fractures in geriatric patients [1,2]. A personal history of fragility fractures significantly increases the risk of new fractures. Up to 33% of patients with a femur fracture had suffered a previous fracture. Among the various fractures due to fragility, the femur is the most prevalent and presents the most repercussions (clinical, functional and social) in patients over 65 years of age, with the resulting depletion of health resources [3]. The worldwide trend is estimated to rise from 1.7 million femoral fractures in 1990 to 6 million in 2050 [4].
In 2011, the Fractures Working Group of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Osteoporosis Foundation stressed the importance of coordination between orthopedics, osteoporosis services, fall units, patient, family, geriatrician and Primary Care physician. This multidisciplinary action was consolidated in the so-called “coordinated services for the treatment of fractures” or Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) that were initially implemented in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA [5], with very good results.

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Myths, stories and legends about calcium and vitamin D

In recent years there has been an impressive increase in the number of scientific articles related to the metabolism of calcium and vitamin D. We have gained a much deeper knowledge of many patho-physiological aspects. However, and in spite of this, a series of fraudulence, myths and legends have been developed in parallel on both calcium and vitamin D, many of them absolutely unjustified, and others derived from a misunderstanding of some scientific articles. Since this can lead to the abandonment of treatments or taking them in the wrong way, we have developed this article in order to clarify, with scientific evidence, some of these aspects.

Review of the physiology of calcium and vitamin D.
Calcium absorption depends on vitamin D and is a saturable mechanism. From a certain amount and reach the optimum level of absorption, all calcium that is ingested is not absorbed and is eliminated by feces.
Between 100 and 200 mg of calcium are removed by the kidney on a daily basis under normal conditions. Also, between 800 to 900 mg of calcium is lost by stool, as a result of the secretion of bile salts and pancreatic juices. These are known as “mandatory calcium losses” and together they constitute about 1,000 mg (Figure 1). Calcium cannot be synthesized by any metabolic route and, therefore, must be taken by diet [1].

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Recommendations of scientific societies on calcium and vitamin D supplementation in osteoporosis

Calcium and vitamin D requirements for health in general and bone in particular are well established. While the medical community recommends maintaining serum levels of 25 hydroxy-vitamin D (25(OH)D) above at least 20 ng/ml, the calcemia should remain between 8.5 and 10.5 mg/dl. However, these amounts, which should be obtained naturally from diet (calcium) and sun exposure (vitamin D), are not attained by a high percentage of the population.
Calcium levels, so essential for the operation of multiple systems, are maintained thanks to the store that constitutes the bone. From this, the body obtains calcium to maintain its homeostasis if necessary, to the detriment, obviously, of the bone itself, which undergoes an increased resorption that, in turn, produces osteoporosis.
Vitamin D, for its part, lacking a storage system, sees its serum levels fall as sun exposure decreases. We know that the foods richest in calcium are dairy. The intake of these foods is very low in the general population, for different reasons. Furthermore, the risk of skin cancer causes sun exposure to be avoided “drastically”, which prevents vitamin D production. Calcium and vitamin D supplements help people reach the appropriate levels in these situations and shore up deficiencies.
In this paper, we will discuss the recommendations made in various clinical guidelines. These are selective, given the limited space, but we believe they are representative and shed light on the usefulness of giving calcium and vitamin D supplements for the treatment of osteoporosis or to ensure bone health . The approach that different societies and institutions have made varies from the one carried out in the framework of the general treatment of osteoporosis to the specific one of such supplements, either only of vitamin D, of calcium alone, or of both.

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The role of calcium and vitamin D in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis

The role of calcium and vitamin D in bone metabolism has been known for many years. Calcium is one of the main components of bone and, together with the collagen matrix, it is responsible for facilitating the strength and resistance of the skeleton [1].
The maximum bone mass is acquired by 30 years of age and depends on genetic and environmental factors, including calcium intake. Once the bone mass peak is achieved, it is necessary to maintain a minimum calcium intake to avoid bone loss.
Vitamin D is responsible for maintaining calcium and phosphorus homeostasis, favoring its reabsorption at the renal and intestinal levels. Its deficit is associated with an alteration of bone mineralization, causing rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
Osteoporosis is a prevalent chronic process. It poses a public health problem associated with significant morbidity and mortality [2]. With the aging of the population its prevalence is expected to increase [3]. Physical activity and proper nutrition are two measures associated with a reducted risk of osteoporosis [4]. Adequate calcium intake, together with sufficient levels of vitamin D, have proven to be a good option to maintain a healthy bone state [5].

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Role of calcium and vitamin D in treating hip fracture patients

The proximal femur fracture, or hip fracture, is the most serious complication of osteoporosis, due to its high mortality and morbidity, as well as the significant social, economic and welfare cost it entails. In fact, the hip fracture is capable, on its own, of decreasing life expectancy in almost two years and one in five patients who suffer from it will require permanent health care [1]. Risk factors that favor this type of fracture include a greater tendency to fall and a decrease in bone resistance.
Since the discovery of vitamin D in 1922, it has been associated not only with bone health but also with muscle health [2]. Therefore, and although there is no evidence that determines its effectiveness, calcium and vitamin D administration is recommended for every patient with osteoporosis, to avoid their deficiency, which may be harmful. Thus, in most clinical practice guidelines, treatment with antiresorptive or anabolic drugs must be accompanied by an adequate intake of vitamin D, in addition to an appropriate amount of calcium, which usually ranges between 1,000 and 1,200 mg daily [3-5].

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Self assessment test: correct answers

Myths, stories and legends about calcium and vitamin D
Sosa Henríquez M, Gómez de Tejada Romero MJ

1. The mandatory calcium losses are:
d. Urine and feces about 1,000 mg daily
Compulsory calcium losses are estimated at about 1,000 mg daily, of which around 200 mg is due to calciuria and the remaining 800 mg due to fecal losses, due to calcium contained in pancreatic juices and calcium ingested and not absorbed.

2. A woman after menopause is advised to ingest daily:
d. 1,500 mg of calcium
In menopause, daily calcium recommendations have been estimated at 1,500 mg daily by the National Health Institute (NIH).

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Osteonecrosis of the jaw: lights and shadows in the knowledge of its pathophysiology

Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) was described by Marx et al.[1] in 2005. In the following years, both isolated cases and series of patients were published which, over the years, was decreasing, on the one hand, due to the saturation of the journals and the low interest that the description of new cases may cause. Furthermore, knowledge of this disease has lead to the development of preventive measures that may have diminished its incidence.
Regarding ONJ, a whole range of “fears, risks and dangers” have been developed that are largely unjustified. ONJ was indicated as a complication of prolonged bisphosphonate treatment and in this sense it was equalized to the diaphyseal fractures[2], when both processes most certainly have different etiopathogenic mechanisms[3]. Fears concerning ONJ or diaphyseal fractures developed a whole doctrine about the need to suspend treatment with bisphosphonates or denosumab, the so-called “therapeutic vacations” that in reality what it was about was simply to suspend the antiresorptive treatment, before that the possible complications of its use appear[4-6]. This is especially common in the field of dentists, who, in many cases, concerned about the possible development of an ONJ do not perform virtually any dental intervention in patients receiving bisphosphonates or denosumab. With this, what has been observed is an increase in the abandonment of treatment with antiresorptive drugs which produces an increased risk of fragility fractures after discontinuation of bisphosphonate therapy, a risk that has an extreme severity in the case of suspension of denosumab treatment, with the appearance of multiple vertebral fractures[7-11].

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Letter to the Director
Oral Communications
Original Articles
Osteology images
Poster Communications
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Reviews
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