There may be a link between genetics and stress fractures, according to a recent study.

The study was published recently in The Official Journal of the International Purine Club University of Liverpool.

In the study, Derby Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology Jim Gallagher and his research team at the University’s Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease evaluated the contribution of a specific gene, P2X7R, on two groups of volunteers made up of military recruits and elite athletes, according to a media release from the University of Liverpool.

“The study found that two specific variations within the gene were associated with stress fracture injuries in healthy, exercising individuals. The precise mechanism by which these variations may influence stress fracture risk is unknown but may include decreased sensitivity of bone to mechanical loading or adverse changes to specific bone cells,” Gallagher explains in the release.

These findings suggest an independent association between stress fracture injury and specific variations in purinergic receptor genes, Gallagher adds in the release.

Further work with a larger sample group would be needed to explain the mechanisms at work and to help researchers develop preventative measures and more suitable personalized treatments, Gallagher states.

[Source(s): University of Liverpool, Science Daily]