Biochemical parameters associated with low bone density in healthy men and women

Authors

  • Dr. Sheryl S. Sherman,

    Corresponding author
    1. Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland
    Current affiliation:
    1. National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
    • National Institute on Aging National Institutes of Health Gateway Building, Suite 3E327 7201 Wisconsin Ave. Bethesda, MD 20892
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  • Jordan D. Tobin,

    1. Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland
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  • Bruce W. Hollis,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston
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  • Caren M. Gundberg,

    1. Department of Orthopedics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
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  • Tracey A. Roy,

    1. Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland
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  • Chris C. Plato

    1. Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland
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Abstract

A causal role in age-related bone loss has been attributed to alterations in vitamin D status, the bone mineral regulating hormones, and/or renal function. We assessed biochemical parameters of bone metabolism and renal function in healthy subsets of young and old men (n = 191) and women (n = 120) and evaluated the relationships between these parameters and bone mineral density (BMD) in the radius, spine, and femur. There were no significant associations between BMD at any site and serum 25-OHD, 1,25-(OH)2D, PTH, or creatinine clearance in either young men or in young or old women, after controlling for age. In old men, however, lower radius BMD was significantly related to higher PTH and higher 1,25-(OH)2D and marginally related to lower 25-OHD values. In young men, there were unexpected but significant associations between lower femoral neck BMD and higher serum osteocalcin and urinary calcium/creatinine excretion after age adjustment. In old women, lower spine and radius BMD was also significantly correlated with higher serum osteocalcin. In this healthy, vitamin D-replete population, there were significant cross-sectional declines in BMD in the femur in young and old men and at all sites in old women. Elevated remodeling may be an important feature that contributes to reduced femoral BMD in young men and reduced spine and radius BMD in old women. However, compromised renal function or levels of 1,25-(OH)2D or elevated PTH appear to be neither necessary nor relevant as determinants of osteopenia in the spine or femur in these normal, healthy men and women.

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