The studies focus on identifying changes in musculoskeletal tissue due to injury, aging or disease.
Out of 4,000 participants, BMD reductions averaged between 0.89 and 0.77 percent per year for those with fractures, and 0.66 percent per year for those with no fractures. Those losses were greatest within the first two years of a break.
In the second study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, bone loss occurred throughout the body, most notably in the spine, and was greatest within the first two weeks of fracture in mice with femur (thigh bone) fractures.
It also was accompanied by higher levels of inflammatory markers in the blood.
Importantly, the team found that younger mice eventually recovered their pre-fracture BMD levels, while older mice did not.
Christiansen next hopes to further characterize the post-fracture inflammatory factors that may contribute to bone loss following fracture.
"Ultimately, we hope to develop therapeutic strategies that interrupt those processes and prevent bone loss."