Skin wrinkles may predict bone density in early menopause

June 16, 2011

More and deeper skin wrinkles during the early years of menopause are associated with lower bone density, researchers reported June 6 at The Endocrine Society?s 93rd annual meeting in Boston.

More and deeper skin wrinkles during the early years of menopause are associated with lower bone density, researchers reported June 6 at The Endocrine Society’s 93rd annual meeting in Boston.

The Skin Ancillary Study examined the relationship between skin wrinkling or rigidity and bone mineral density (BMD) in 114 early menopausal women (within 3 years of their last menstrual period) enrolled in the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS), a longitudinal, multicenter trial of menopausal hormone therapy. The women weren’t taking hormone therapy and hadn’t had any cosmetic skin procedures.

Investigators assessed 11 sites on the face and neck using the Lemperle wrinkle scale, evaluated skin rigidity (firmness) at the forehead and cheek with a durometer, and measured bone density by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and quantitative heel ultrasound. They found a significant inverse relationship between wrinkle score and bone density at the spine and femoral neck as well as total body BMD (P

The study also found a significant positive correlation between skin rigidity and bone density. Increasing rigidity at the face and forehead was an independent determinant of greater BMD at the hip, spine, and heel.

Changes in the collagen scaffold of skin and bone with aging may contribute to changes in BMD, according to the researchers. “Alterations in skin wrinkling and texture and reduced BMD are recognized accompaniments of reproductive and chronological aging,” they write.