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What Young Women Should Know About Osteoporosis

Narrator: This is Science Today. Osteoporosis, a disease marked by an abnormal loss of bone density, is most common in post-menopausal women genetically prone to the disease. But UCLA specialist, Dr. Aurelia Nattiv says young women should also be aware of the risks.

Nattiv: Especially women that have disordered eating patterns. Not only the anorexic and bulimic individuals, but also women who chronically diet. And the low weight and restrictive eating can lead to significant bone loss at a young age, which is alarming because we don't have a good treatment right now if they continue to stay at a lower weight.

Narrator: Other risk factors include over-exercising which can lead to a loss of menstruation.

Nattiv: It's a low estrogen state that's similar to the post-menopausal women and there's an accelerated bone loss in this younger age group. So not only do they have bone loss, but they may never reach their peak bone density.

Narrator: Nattiv recommends women at high risk have a bone density test; increase their calcium intake and not over-exercise. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.