Feeds

ISS astronauts lose 'alarming' amounts of hipbone strength

Help! I've fallen and I can't get geosynchronous!

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Humanity's conquest of the stars may never arrive by the jaunty strides of a Flash Gordon or Dan Dare. Alas, Earth's future finest will likely hobble out the pod bay door on feeble old-lady hips.

My dream of Mae West in space is ruined!

Spending extended time in microgravity has long been known to cause a loss in bone density. But a new study by researchers from Universities of California at Irvine and San Francisco suggests the deterioration may be worse than previously thought.

The research evaluated 13 astronauts who had spent four to six months at the International Space Station.

On average, astronauts' hipbone strength decreased an "alarming" 14 per cent, the study reports. Three of the astronauts lost as much as 20 to 30 per cent of their bone strength during space flight, putting them on par with elderly women with osteoporosis.

"If preventative measures are not taken, some of our astronauts may be at increased risk for age-related fractures decades after their missions," said study leader Joyce Keyak.

The research differs from previous studies by specifically looking at bone strength rather than bone-mineral density. Based on 12 male and 1 female ISS crew members, decreases in bone strength measured from 0.6 per cent to 5 per cent for each month aboard the ISS - considerably more than the loss of bone-mineral density of 0.4 per cent to 1.8 per cent observed in previous studies of the same subjects.

According to researchers, the hip experiences the greatest rate of bone loss in space and fractures almost always require hospitalization and surgery.

The NASA-funded study appears in the online version of the trade journal Bone - a publication that we're sure gets a lot of late-night traffic from highly disappointed internet users. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.