The Social Context of Bone Health: Conclusions and Future Directions
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There is a clear contribution made by biological anthropology to contemporary efforts to prevent osteoporosis and fracture and an imperative of understanding epigenetics to future risk identification and targeted pharmacological interventions. The three lines of evidence for the effect of socio-economic context on musculoskeletal health demonstrated in the preceding parts in this volume lead to a conclusion that our social background and bone health are often inseparable. Given this relationship, two outcomes for current and future research, prevention and treatment of increased bone fragility observed in ageing populations today can be teased out. Firstly, the educational value of understanding the links between lifestyle and peak bone mass accrual in the first three ontogenetic decades should be recognised and communicated to the younger generations. Secondly, interdisciplinary and all-inclusive efforts by researchers and practising clinicians can spearhead the implementation of lifestyle plans for patients from different socio-economic backgrounds. Ongoing research recording and monitoring bone strength, quantity, and quality in diverse social groups should continue to elucidate lifestyle determinants of skeletal health that can, hopefully, lead to addressing socio-economic inequality and inequity in the future.
KeywordsInterdisciplinary Inequality Inequity Bone health Lifestyle