The Association between Parathyroid Hormone, Vitamin D and Bone Mineral Density in 70-Year-Old Icelandic Women
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) may be an important determinant of cortical bone remodeling in the elderly. Vitamin D status is one of the determining factors in this relationship. The aim of this study was to quantify the relationship between serum PTH, vitamin D and bone mineral density (BMD) in elderly women in Reykjavik (64° N), where daily intake of cod liver oil is common and mean calcium intake is high. ln PTH correlated inversely with 25(OH)D (r=−0.26, p<0.01). In multivariate analysis PTH correlated inversely with whole body BMD (mostly cortical bone) (R2= 2.2%, p = 0.04) but not with the lumbar spine BMD, reflecting more cancellous bone. No association was found between 25(OH)D levels and BMD at any site in univariate or multivariate analysis. Osteocalcin, a measure of bone turnover, was negatively associated with BMD and this association remained significant when corrected for PTH levels. In summary, in this fairly vitamin D replete population with high calcium intake, PTH was negatively associated with total body BMD. We infer that suppression of PTH may reduce cortical bone loss, but other factors are likely to contribute to age-related bone remodeling and osteoporosis.
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