OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Post-Menopausal Women Wanted for New Bone Study

07/07/2008

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Post-menopausal women under the age of 65 are needed for a new study that will examine the effects of moderate alcohol intake on bone health.

Jill Marrone, a graduate student in the nutrition and exercise sciences program at Oregon State University, is conducting the study. Urszula Iwaniec, an assistant professor at OSU, is Marrone’s adviser. Iwaniec and OSU faculty members Gianni Maddalozzo and Russell Turner are the principle investigators of the study.

The researchers are seeking women under the age of 65 who are within 10 years post-menopausal, have not taken hormone therapy replacement or bone therapy medications for the past six months, and are moderate consumers of alcohol (defined as drinking five to 10 alcohol drinks per week).

Participants receive a free bone scan, which is used to assess bone mineral density, screen for osteoporosis and predict future fracture risk.

Marrone said the goal of the study is to better understand the effects of alcohol on bone turnover, which is the process where the bone breaks down and reforms. Osteoporosis, a disease characterized by porous bones, affects more than 10 million Americans. The rapid decline in bone density in women after menopause often leads to bone fractures. However, past research has shown that moderate amounts of alcohol slows the lost of bone density.

“Our hypothesis is that alcohol suppresses bone turnover,” Marrone said. “No studies to date have investigated the effects of alcohol withdrawal and restoration on the bones in post-menopausal women."

The study lasts six weeks and can begin as soon as a participant signs up. Participants will be asked to give urine and blood samples four times during that six-week period. They also will have to abstain from drinking during certain periods, and then drink alcohol at their normal consumption levels during other times.

Marrone will begin the study this summer.

Those interested in participating in this study should contact Marrone at (541) 737-5935 or e-mail marronej@onid.orst.edu.