Author(s): Greenspan SL, DresnerPollak R, Parker RA, London D, Ferguson L
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Abstract The diurnal variation of markers of bone mineral metabolism have been documented in pre- and early postmenopausal women. Such rhythms have clinical implications for timing of sample collection and assessment of therapeutic intervention. To examine the diurnal variation of bone turnover in the elderly, we examined markers of bone formation [serum osteocalcin (OC) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (B-ALP)]; a marker of bone resorption (urinary N-telopeptide cross-linked collagen type 1 [NTX]); and serum calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) over 24 hours. Subjects were healthy community-dwelling elderly who were on no medications known to significantly alter bone mineral metabolism. Subjects included 14 women [74 +/- 6 years (mean +/- SD)] and 14 men (80 +/- 5 years). Over the 24-hour sampling period, mean serum OC, B-ALP, and calcium values were similar in elderly men and women. However, mean serum PTH was significantly higher in elderly men compared with women (P < 0.05). The magnitude of the diurnal variation of urinary NTX was significantly higher in women compared with men (P < 0.05). There was a significant diurnal variation for serum OC, B-ALP, calcium, PTH, and urinary NTX in both elderly men and women. The magnitude of the diurnal variation was approximately 10-20\% of mean value for OC and B-ALP, 30\% for PTH, and up to 40\% for urinary NTX. We conclude that there is significant diurnal variation in the markers of bone mineral metabolism for elderly men and women. The peak value, which on average would be 20\% higher than the mean value for urinary NTX, highlights the importance of the timing of sample collection for appropriate interpretation of therapeutic response. In addition, gender-related differences, including relatively higher levels of serum PTH and lower levels of urinary NTX in elderly men, may help explain differences in rates of bone loss in this age group.
This article was published in Calcif Tissue Int
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism