The risk of osteoporosis - the loss of bone mass - can be a major concern to Parkinson's patients. A recent study showed that 51% of female Parkinson's patients have osteoporosis, compared to 25% of women without Parkinson's. Although osteoporosis is often regarded as a "women's disease," they study found that 29% of male Parkinson's patients have osteoporosis, as opposed to 7% of men without Parkinson's. The higher risk of osteoporosis is especially disquieting because Parkinson's patients also have an increased risk of falling. If a patient falls, osteoporosis increases the risk of a fracture.
Osteoporosis is a condition of aging, and Parkinson's patients tend to come from an older segment of the population. In addition, while physical exercise helps to maintained bone strength, Parkinson's patients tend to be sedentary. Furthermore, although milk also helps to maintain bone strength, some Parkinson's patients whoa re being treated with levodopa reduce their intake of milk (a good source of protein) on the ground that the intake of protein could cause less levodopa to reach the brain.
Because of these interacting risks, many neurologists recommend that men and women have regular bone health checkups.
Vine, John M. A Parkinson's Primer: An Indispensable Guide to Parkinson's Disease for Patients and Their Families. Loss of Bone Mass. Page 56. Paul Dry Books. 2017.