The role of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and vitamin D in falls and hip fracture type
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Fragility fractures of the hip are associated with high morbidity and mortality, and represent a rather devastating consequence of osteoporosis. Hip fractures are traditionally investigated as a whole, although it has been recently implied that distinct pathogenic mechanisms may lead either to trochanteric or subcapital fractures.
To investigate whether differences exist by hip fracture type with respect to serum 25(OH)D (vitamin D) and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, in addition to epidemiological and demographic data, including history of falls.
The inclusion criteria were met by 116 patients [48 men and 68 women; mean age 80.8 ± 8.5 (range 62–94) years]. Patients were analyzed according to hip fracture type, history of falls, and vitamin D and PTH status.
Older age, recurrent falls, serum levels of PTH > 65 pg/ml, and severe vitamin D deficiency were found to be associated with trochanteric fractures. Additionally, older age, female gender, PTH > 65 pg/ml, and severe vitamin D deficiency were related to recurrent falls. Meanwhile, patients with absence of PTH response to low vitamin D levels, were not repeated fallers and suffered mostly from subcapital fractures.
Discussion and conclusion
Elevated PTH levels predispose both to falls and trochanteric fractures, while vitamin D-deficient patients with normal PTH levels are mostly related to subcapital fractures. It is thereby indicated that different pathophysiological processes lie behind subcapital and trochanteric fractures. A better understanding of these mechanisms may assist in the development of prevention strategies for individuals recognized at risk for falls and either type of hip fracture.
KeywordsParathyroid hormone (PTH) 25 (OH) vitamin D Hip fracture type Falls
The authors would like to thank Nikolaos Kolaitis, MD, PhD, for his contribution in the statistical analysis of this paper.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest. No benefits have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject matter of this article.
All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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