Understanding pregnancy-associated osteoporosis

understanding pregnancy associated osteoporosis

Sumary of Understanding pregnancy-associated osteoporosis:

  • © iStock/Pornpak Khunatorn Dr Sarah Hardcastle, Consultant Rheumatologist at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, spoke to Health Europa about pregnancy-associated osteoporosis.
  • Indeed, research around what could cause bone fractures during pregnancy is still very much in its infancy, with many cases going undiagnosed or prompting further investigation due to the rarity of the condition.
  • Pregnancy-associated osteoporosis (PAO) usually occurs during late pregnancy or early postpartum, most commonly manifesting as bone breakage in the spine.
  • Dr Sarah Hardcastle is a Consultant Rheumatologist at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases who, in 2019, published a paper which detailed a review of pregnancy-associated osteoporosis cases at the hospital in which she works.
  • Here, she speaks to Health Europa about potential risk factors, symptoms and treatments.
  • The first sign of pregnancy-associated osteoporosis is usually the onset of acute back pain in the latter stages of pregnancy or shortly after delivery.
  • This is because vertebral (backbone) fractures are by far the most common fracture type in this condition.
  • The reason vertebral fractures occur predominantly is thought to relate both to the type of bone present in the vertebrae (trabecular or ‘woven’ bone), and the additional strain that pregnancy places upon the spine.

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