14 February 2011
According to a number of leading clinicians, increasing numbers of young women are suffering from low bone mineral density - and the trend could lead to a huge increase in the number of people suffering from the bone wasting disease as they age.
It is believed that the spike in low bone density cases is being driven by celebrity-esque lifestyles - including heavy drinking, smoking, reduced exercise levels and crash dieting.
Orthopaedic specialists are worried that a rise in osteoporosis could lead to a jump in the number of hip fractures being recorded as women age. This, in turn, could lead to a huge increase in demand for replacement hip operations.
Speaking to the Independent, Nicola Peel, a consultant at Sheffield Teaching Hospital's Metabolic Bone Centre, said: "Binge drinking is harmful to the skeleton, smoking is a risk factor, as is a sedentary lifestyle, and we believe reduced levels of activity in childhood will have an effect on bone growth."
This week, the Duchess of Cornwall Camilla Parker Bowles, who is president of the National Osteoporosis Society, will appear on BBC Radio 4 show The Archers to promote awareness of the condition.
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