, Volume 67, Issue 6, pp 429-433
Date: 11 Feb 2014

Higher Osteocalcin Levels and Cross-Links Excretion in Young Men Born with Low Birth Weight

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As the result of accelerated growth, the final height of infants born with low birth weight (LBW) is near to the normal. Limited data are available about the bone density and bone turnover just after completion of skeletal development. We have investigated the bone turnover and bone density in 49 apparently healthy young LBW men (age 19–21 years; 21 born small for gestational age (SGA) and 28 appropriate for gestational age (AGA)) and in 16 age-matched controls. Bone mineral density of lumbar spine, femoral neck, and radius midshaft, the markers of calcium homeostasis, biochemical parameters of bone turnover as serum osteocalcin (OC), and urinary pyridinoline (PYD) and deoxypyridinoline (DPD) levels were measured. Bone mineral densities of LBW subjects were not altered. Serum calcium (SGA: 2.44 ± 0.15; AGA:2.41 ± 0.17, control: 2.25 ± 0.09 mmol/liter, P < 0.05), OC (SGA:23.4 ± 9.9; AGA:20.8 ± 7.6; control:13.3 ± 4.6 ng/ml, P < 0.01), total alkaline phosphatase (AP) (SGA:201 ± 61; AGA:193 ± 81, control:117 ± 34 IU/liter, P < 0.01), and urinary DPD/creat (ln.values: SGA:3.10 ± 0.48; AGA:3.17 ± 0.46; control:2.58 ± 0.57 nmol/mmol, P < 0.05) were higher, whereas fractional excretion of calcium (SGA:0.94 ± 0.470; AGA:1.03 ± 0.51, control:1.31 ± 0.75%, P < 0.05) was lower in both SGA and AGA groups. PTH and 25OHD were not different. Significant correlation was obtained between seCa, OC, AP, DPD and birth weight of the subjects, but feCa correlated inversely to the birth weight. It was concluded that the bone turnover of LBW men is accelerated, but well balanced in young adulthood. Further investigation is needed to describe the possible link between accelerated bone turnover and hormonal homeostasis of LBW subjects.

Received: 30 November 1999 / Accepted: 9 September 2000 / Online publication: 22 December 2000