Osteoporosis among Caucasian women

Race, genetics, and health are all interconnected because both race and genetics can have an effect on an individuals health. Certain races are more prone to particular diseases such as Malaria in Africans or Osteoporosis in American and Asian women. Genetics also plays a role in someones health because some diseases are passed from parents to offspring such as sickle cell. Possible explanations for this correlation or trend between genetics or race and a certain disease can be attributed to the individuals environment, socioeconomic status, and other factors.

The health disparity I chose was Osteoporosis, which is a disease that causes bones to become weak and more prone to breaks. Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because an individual can lose bone density with no physical signs, it often goes unnoticed until a fall or strain causes a bone to break (the most common bones to break with this disease are the wrist, spine and hip). While men can have this disease it is seen more frequently in women, this could be explained by the fact that women go through menopause and experience a significant drop in their estrogen levels which can cause osteoporosis. The risk of osteoporosis also increases with age and white and asian women tend to be more prone to this disease when compared with women of black or hispanic ethnicity. These trends can be explained both by genetic factors and social determinants. For example, osteoporosis runs in families and a genetically inherited traits that increase bone strength are more common in black and hispanic people than white and asian. Men and women of hispanic and black heritage also tend to have higher bone densities while individuals of caucasian, european, and asian have lower bone densities and tend to have smaller body frames. Some social determinants are diet and  exercise. Individuals who have a calcium and vitamin D rich diet tend to have stronger bones than someone who doesn’t, and individuals who don’t smoke or consume alcohol in excess have a smaller chance of having osteoporosis. Also those who exercise regualrly have stronger bones.


“.” . http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=_XQIYre3idbKdM&tbnid=8Jdgq_a-NQNSgM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmchb.hrsa.gov%2Fwhusa13%2Fhealth-status%2Fhealth-indicators%2Fp%2Fosteoporosis.html&ei=9FO_U7xFkKPIBNawgIgN&bvm=bv.70810081,d.aWw&psig=AFQjCNG3loj2wpkJl32WUcS_SWDc2Ars7Q&ust=1405134161641841 (accessed July 11, 2014).
“What Is Osteoporosis? Fast Facts: An Easy-to-Read Series of Publications for the Public.” Fast Facts About Osteoporosis. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/osteoporosis_ff.asp (accessed July 11, 2014).
“Osteoporosis Across Cultures – Osteoporosis Center – EverydayHealth.com.” EverydayHealth.com. http://www.everydayhealth.com/osteoporosis/osteoporosis-across-cultures.aspx (accessed July 11, 2014).



This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Delisa Quayson says:

    I am in total agreement with the first sentence you stated it perfectly. Race, genetics and health are all interconnected. Even though a person’s race itself cannot be determined biologically, but when people self-report their race we can see disease-related trends that can be associated to these races. Like malaria in Africans and osteoporosis in American and Asian women like Hannah mentioned. I also agree with the passing of genes from parent to offspring. You seem to have hit all the relevant points in defining and connecting race, gene and health. Especially including environment and socio-economic statuses because we’ve heard and seen over and over again in the materials for this week just have important these factors are in deterring health. From this activity we can see that there are a lot of diseases that we find predominantly in one race or another. Scrolling through the posts there is a lot of evidence that race in some way or other influences distribution of some diseases. For successful clinical studies that will enable us to get to the bottom of these diseases I think racial categories are very important. If for nothing at all, based on prior evidence it may eliminate confounds. Racial categories may enable researchers to study why these diseases are affecting one category more than the other. Some people take offense to these racial categorizing especially when its showing the prevalence of some disease as higher amongst them, but they need to look at the bigger picture. This may be beneficial to them in the long run. If it wasn’t for this class I may never have known any of these things so maybe making such information public knowledge, giving them the hard data they cannot refuse may be a good way to talk about racialized health disparities.

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