IOF-Servier Young Investigator Research Grant awarded to UK researcher

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Grant will support research on relationships between body composition, muscle and bone strength

Today at the European Congress of Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis currently being held in Bordeaux, France, the IOF-Servier Young Investigator Research Grant was awarded to
Dr Mark Edwards, clinical research fellow at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at Southhampton General Hospital in the UK.

The prestigious grant of 40,000 EUR, offered by the International Osteoporosis Foundation with the support of Servier, has been awarded every two years since 2000. It aims specifically at encouraging young scientists to carry out original research of high scientific value and international relevance in the field of osteoporosis. The winning project must be consistent with the objectives of the International Osteoporosis Foundation, ultimately contributing to better prevention and care of people with osteoporosis.

Dr Edwards’ project seeks to clarify uncertainties with regard to the relationships between body composition, muscle and bone health. As most fragility fractures occur following a fall,  age-related loss in skeletal muscle, known as sarcopenia, may contribute to fracture risk through increasing fall risk. By contrast, while obesity is associated with reduced bone loss, observed fracture rates are unexpectedly high in obese people. The proposed study, which will recruit 45o men and women, will assess the relationship between muscle strength, measures of adiposity and bone mineral density, in both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. The results may inform fracture prediction algorithms and enhance the development of future randomised controlled trial studies.

Presenting the award, IOF General Secretary Professor Bess Dawson Hughes affirmed IOF’s commitment to the recognition and support of young investigators, and stated, “We expect that this study, one of many excellent projects submitted by young researchers, will serve to clarify and advance our understanding of the interrelationship of obesity and muscle strength in falls risk.”

Dr. Laurence Alliot, director of the Division of Medical Affairs at Servier commented, “Servier is very proud of its support for deserving projects by young researchers in the bone field. We hope that the new knowledge gained through this study will make a long-term contribution towards the improved identification of individuals at greatest risk of falls and fracture.”