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Oestrogens and ageing from the skeletal perspective
  1. Michael Pazianas
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael Pazianas, Institute of Musculoskeletal Sciences, Oxford University, Oxford OX3 7LD, UK; Michael.Pazianas{at}ndorms.ox.ac.uk

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The ageing is an indispensable component in the advancement of evolution. It enforces the retirement of all ‘out-of-date’ structures and in this way ageing itself will not be a burden in the process of evolution. At the same time, reproduction will guarantee the continuation and development of the most adaptable and durable structures, as survival and evolution are tightly linked. Therefore, reproduction and not longevity is nature's preferred method of survival and every function could be seen as if it had been designed to serve this process. Extreme longevity may have been tried in the past, as organisms, members of the genus Hydra are believed to be biologically immortal1 or when Methuselah allegedly lived for almost a thousand years, but this is no longer the norm. It looks therefore inevitable that the end of the reproductive period signals the commencement of an era in which ageing dominates.

The timing of menopause onset has been linked to age-related mortality outcomes, and the net effect of a later menopause is an increased lifespan.2 Postmenopausal women with a late onset of menopause are epigenetically younger than women with an early onset of menopause, and the hormonal changes that accompany menopause accelerate biological ageing in women.3 Transplantation of young ovaries to old mice significantly increased lifespan in transplant recipients4 and restored cardioprotective …

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