Optimizing the Skeletal Benefits of Mechanical Loading and Exercise
Osteoporosis is a prominent and growing problem characterized by a reduction in bone strength and consequent increase in the risk for low-trauma fractures. Key determinants of bone strength and thus fracture risk include the amount of bone material present (quantity), and the spatial distribution (structure) and intrinsic properties (quality) of this material. There is clear evidence for a genetic contribution to these bone properties, with heritability estimates ranging from 60% to 90%, depending on the skeletal property and site assessed (Peacock et al., 2002). The remaining variance in bone properties is accounted for by other factors.