Genetic factor may contribute to risk of osteoporosis

Scientists from the University of Barcelona (UB) have discovered that the genetic variant 677C>T, which is a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), may be linked to osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

"In this genetic variant, the women that displayed [the genotype] had double the risk of suffering from osteoporotic fractures than women with the other possible combinations," wrote Susana Balcells and Daniel Grinberg, lead authors of the study and researchers at the UB.

The new study, published in the journal Calcified Tissue International, reveals that osteoporotic vertebral fractures are one type of condition that is related to 677C>T along with Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular disease.

The variant confirmed is one of potentially 100 that entail a heightened risk of osteoporosis. Analyzing them individually offers limited predictive value, and more experiments may need to be carried out.

SNPs are polymorphisms that affect a single nucleotide in the DNA sequence. There are two possible versions in human populations for each SNP. In order to find genetic factors linked to common illnesses, these variants must be analyzed. There are around 10 million SNPs in the human genome, spread throughout all the chromosomes. 
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