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Free Content Evaluating Bone Loss in ISS Astronauts

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INTRODUCTION: The measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the Medical Assessment Test used at the NASA Johnson Space Center to evaluate whether prolonged exposure to spaceflight increases the risk for premature osteoporosis in International Space Station (ISS) astronauts. The DXA scans of crewmembers’ BMD during the first decade of the ISS existence showed precipitous declines in BMD for the hip and spine after the typical 6-mo missions. However, a concern exists that skeletal integrity cannot be sufficiently assessed solely by DXA measurement of BMD. Consequently, use of relatively new research technologies is being proposed to NASA for risk surveillance and to enhance long-term management of skeletal health in long-duration astronauts.

Sibonga JD, Spector ER, Johnston SL, Tarver WJ. Evaluating bone loss in ISS astronauts. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2015; 86(12, Suppl.):A38–A44.

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Keywords: bone mineral density; cortical bone; densitometry; trabecular bone

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: NASA Johnson Space Center and Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering Group, Houston, TX, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • This journal (formerly Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine), representing the members of the Aerospace Medical Association, is published monthly for those interested in aerospace medicine and human performance. It is devoted to serving and supporting all who explore, travel, work, or live in hazardous environments ranging from beneath the sea to the outermost reaches of space. The original scientific articles in this journal provide the latest available information on investigations into such areas as changes in ambient pressure, motion sickness, increased or decreased gravitational forces, thermal stresses, vision, fatigue, circadian rhythms, psychological stress, artificial environments, predictors of success, health maintenance, human factors engineering, clinical care, and others. This journal also publishes notes on scientific news and technical items of interest to the general reader, and provides teaching material and reviews for health care professionals.

    To access volumes 74 through 85, please click here.
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