Osteoporosis among White Women

This week’s materials have shown how different races, gender and ethnicities are at greater risk of certain diseases than others.  Many things have lead to certain races and ethnicities evolving in such a way where certain diseases and illnesses are more prevalent among certain groups.  I found it very interesting that there is not genetic way to determine one race from another.
Living situations, access to healthy food and water and a variety of other factors.  For example, high blood pressure is very common among African American men.  This is because African American men are more sensitive to salt than other ethnicities and therefore at higher risk of having high blood pressure.  Another example of evolution is the prevalence of Type II diabetes among Pima Indians.  They have a mutation that helps them to store sugars and fats which helps them to survive, but it has also lead to an increase in Type II diabetes among these individuals.
Osteoporosis weakens the bones and causes unexpected fractures.  It is most commonly seen in white females, but everyone is at risk.  A women’s risk of osteoporosis increases greatly after menopause.  This is because women lose about 20 percent of their bone mass after menopause as a result of less estrogen being produced.  Estrogen helps bones stay strong.  An unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity can also increase risk of osteoporosis.  Smoking also increases one’s risk of having osteoporosis.  African American women usually have more dense bones than white women.  Asian American women have thinner bones, but a lower fracture rate than white women (weird).  The graph below is a visual representation of the fact that white women are more likely the have osteoporosis than other groups of people.  In this graph white women are most likely to have osteoporosis than non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican Americans.
“High Blood Pressure and African Americans.” High Blood Pressure and African Americans. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/UnderstandYourRiskforHighBloodPressure/High-Blood-Pressure-and-African-Americans_UCM_301832_Article.jsp (accessed July 12, 2014).
WebMD. “Osteoporosis Risk: Who Gets Osteoporosis?.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/osteoporosis-myth-only-old-white-women-get-osteoporosis (accessed July 12, 2014).

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jay-Garfein Devin says:

    Megan, I agree with your view on health and how race and genetics affect it. There is no such thing as a genetic race, just people who live under similar conditions so their bodies make adaptations. Those adaptations or mutations create differences in people so that humans can survive.

    I think that racial clinical studies are not valid or credible. There are so many factors that go into health problems. To try and say that it is the color of someone’s skin that will affect their health is incorrect. Lifestyle and environment play a key role in health. In your blog post you mentioned that osteoporosis is found most commonly in white women. By then prescribing white women a drug specifically made to help white women is not going to solve their problems. Look at the lives of Caucasian women, when they get older they become less active. Having less activity can cause osteoporosis.

    Disparities in health come from the environment. People think that the difference is racial, but they are overlooking the fact that race itself comes from people. It is not scientific. The way society sees race is people from the same background. If people come from the same place, then as part of being human, their bodies adapted to the living conditions for better survival. It is best to look at genetic mutations when doing health studies and not races.

  2. Maureen John says:

    I agree with what you stated about the affects of race and genetics on health. I also liked how you used the example about the Pima Indians and their prevalence to Type II diabetes. Genetic mutations offer a better understanding of prevalence for a certain disease than relying only on race. I don’t think that racial categories offer much insight with clinical studies because there is no genetic test to determine a race. Since race isn’t something that can be tested we cannot simply rely on appearances to categorize certain races and their prevalence to a certain disease. Personal diet and exercise varies for everyone no matter what your race is. These are also very important factors that can increase or decrease your prevalence to a certain disease. Another factor that we need to take into consideration is socioeconomic background such as income level and area of residence. Living in lower income neighborhoods can lead to higher stress levels which can eventually lead to the prevalence of many diseases. The genetic factor for osteoporosis seems to depend highly on gender. Osteoporosis is highly common among women because of certain changes that their bodies go through post menopause. This does not mean that all women will get osteoporosis after menopause. With the right lifestyle, diet and exercise women can lower their prevalence to osteoporosis.

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