Biochemical Markers of Bone Turnover Reflect Femoral Bone Loss in Elderly Women
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- Dresner-Pollak, R., Parker, R., Poku, M. et al. Calcif Tissue Int (1996) 59: 328. doi:10.1007/s002239900135
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Although over 90% of hip fractures occur in patients over age 70, few data are available on femoral bone loss in this age group. To examine the relationship between biochemical markers of bone turnover and femoral bone loss in the elderly, 36 female and 17 male, healthy, community-dwelling elderly over age 65 (mean ± SD age: women 71 ± 4 years, men 75 ± 5 years) were followed for 3 years. Annual bone mineral density measurements of the hip and lumbar spine by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) were obtained and biochemical markers of bone resorption (urinary N-telopeptide crosslinks, free pyridinoline, total pyridinoline, total deoxypyridinoline, and hydroxyproline) and bone formation (serum osteocalcin, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase) were obtained at the end of year 3. In elderly women, longitudinal bone loss at the total hip was negatively correlated with markers of bone resorption (r =−0.39 to −0.52, P < 0.05), bone formation (r =−0.38, P < 0.05), and age (r =−0.39, P < 0.05). Markers of bone resorption were correlated with markers of bone formation (r = 0.63 to 0.74, P < 0.01). In multiple regression analysis, urinary N-telopeptide crosslinks (marker of resorption), serum osteocalcin (marker of formation), and serum parathyroid hormone explained 43% of the variability of bone loss at the total hip in women. These parameters were not related to bone loss in men. We conclude that femoral bone loss increases with age in women over 65. Measurements of specific biochemical markers of bone turnover are correlated with longitudinal bone loss in elderly women. These markers may help identify women at greatest risk for bone loss who would benefit most from therapeutic interventions.