, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 939-948
Date: 20 May 2010

Analysis of correlation between blood biochemical indicators and bone mineral density of post-menopausal women

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Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease of the skeletal system, and its major complication is fracture that severely influences the living quality of the middle-aged and the aged. The purpose of this study was to investigate the significance of sex hormones and some biochemical indicators related to bone metabolism in the genesis and development of osteoporosis. The plasma samples were collected from 244 post-menopausal women of Xi’an urban area, and their plasma contents of testosterone, estradiol, calcitonin, osteocalcin and N-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen were detected by ELISA. The activity of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase was determined by spectrophotometric method, and the content of nitric oxide was measured by Griess method. Bone mineral density (BMD) in lumbar vertebrae (L1–L4) and hips was measured by QDR-2000 dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. The concentrations of the biochemical indicators were compared among the three groups (normal bone mass group, osteopenia group and osteoporosis group), and Pearson correlation analysis was used to verify the correlations between the indicators and BMD. The comparison results of blood biochemical indicators of BMD-based groups showed that the plasma contents of estradiol (P = 0.006), testosterone (P = 0.038) and calcitonin (P = 0.042) decreased more significantly in the osteoporosis group, but the content of osteocalcin (P = 0.008) increased significantly in osteoporosis group than those in the other groups. The correlation analysis between BMD of different parts and the blood biochemical indicators showed that there was a significant positive correlation between estradiol and the BMD of lumber vertebra (r = 0.200, P = 0.002), femoral neck (r = 0.160, P = 0.013), and great trochanter (r = 0.204, P = 0.001). Significant positive correlations between calcitonin and BMD of lumber vertebra (r = 0.166, P = 0.018) and femoral great trochanter (r = 0.152, P = 0.041), and between testosterone and BMD of femoral great trochanter (r = 0.158, P = 0.014) were also observed. In addition, there existed significant negative correlations between osteocalcin and BMD of lumber vertebra (r = −0.220, P = 0.001), femoral neck (r = −0.259, P < 0.000), and great trochanter (r = −0.221, P = 0.001), and between the activity of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase and BMD of femoral great trochanter (r = −0.135, P = 0.037). The partial correlation analysis also showed that there were significant correlations between estradiol (r = 0.160, P = 0.014), calcitonin (r = 0.240, P = 0.013), osteocalcin (r = −0.226, P = 0.023) and BMD when the influence of age was excluded. The Pearson correlation analysis of biochemical indicators showed there were positive correlations between the contents of testosterone and calcitonin, testosterone and osteocalcin, calcitonin and osteocalcin, calcitonin and PINP, calcitonin and NO, osteocalcin and NO, and PINP and NO, but negative correlations between the contents of testosterone and PINP, estradiol and calcitonin, estradiol and osteocalcin, and estradiol and NO. The blood contents of sex hormones and calcitonin significantly influence BMD and osteoporosis development, and the increase of osteocalcin contents could be used as a biomarker to indicate the degree of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.