Exercise May Lessen Fracture Risk in Women

OULU, Finland, Sept. 30 (UPI) — Researchers in Finland say exercise helps lessen the number of fractures in elderly women.

Raija Korpelainen of Oulu Deaconess Institute in Oulu, Finland, says regular daily physical activity should be recommended to elderly women with osteopenia — a reduction in bone mass or low levels of bone calcium.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, finds women in the exercise group decreased the overall risk of having any fracture, compared to a control group. No hip fractures occurred in the exercise group during the follow-up period, while five hip fractures occurred in the control group.

“Moderate lifelong physical activity decreased the overall risk of having any fractures during the total follow-up period,” the study authors say in a statement. “Furthermore, mortality was significantly lower in the exercise group than in the control group during the extended follow-up period.”

The randomized trial involved 160 women — 84 assigned to an exercise group, while the remaining 76 made up the control group. The exercise group attended supervised balance, leg strength and impact training sessions once a week for a six-month period each year from 1998 to 2001.

The average observation time for both groups was 7.1 years.

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