Spending months in space may cause long-term bone loss due to weightlessness during space flight, a new study suggests.
For the study, researchers at Mayo Clinic analyzed bone mineral density (BMD) measurements in 28 U.S. space crew members (24 males, four females) whose space missions ranged from 95 to 215 days.
BMD is an indicator of bone strength.
All 28 crew members had their BMDs measured before their space flight and within 33 days after their return to Earth.
Twenty-four of them had their BMDs checked again between six and 18 months after returning from space.
BMD measurements were taken for the total body, hips, the spine’s lumbar area and two sites at the wrist.