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HLA alleles as predisposal factors for postmenopausal osteoporosis in a Greek population


Dr K. Douroudis
Centre of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu
Ravila 19, 51014 Tartu
Tel: +372 5397 6581


It is well established that genetic factors play an important role in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis, a common condition characterized by reduced bone mass and increased fracture risk. The major histocompatibility complex in humans, known as human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region, is the most polymorphic human genetic system and it is known as a cluster of genetic markers, associated with several diseases. In order to evaluate the contribution of HLA alleles in bone mass loss, polymorphisms in the HLA class I (-A, -B and -Cw) and class II (-DR and -DQ) antigens were studied in 126 postmenopausal women of Greek origin. It was found that HLA-B7 (P= 0.069), -DR15 (P= 0.019) and -DQ6 (P= 0.026) were associated with a lower bone mineral density measured at the forearm. This study shows a significant association between HLA alleles and bone mass loss in the population studied.