Health: Old Bones, New Hope

Two studies suggest an easier way to detect--and treat--osteoporosis

Brittle bones can be more than just a bother for anyone who is getting on in years. About 10 million Americans have osteoporosis--a gradual thinning of the bones--and 1.5 million of them will suffer a fracture this year. That's why doctors were so interested in a pair of studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week on the relationship between osteoporosis and a common amino acid called homocysteine. Not only do the reports suggest an easy way to determine early on who is most vulnerable to osteoporosis, but they also hint at a totally new way to treat...

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