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J Bone Miner Res, 2009; 24(6): 1075-85, PMID: 19113912

Serum estradiol is associated with volumetric BMD and modulates the impact of physical activity on bone size at the age of peak bone mass: a study in healthy male siblings.

Year: 2009

Lapauw BM, Taes Y, Bogaert V, Vanbillemont G, Goemaere S, Zmierczak HG, De Bacquer D, Kaufman JM
Department of Endocrinology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.


This study investigates determinants of peak bone mass (PBM) in healthy men, focusing on effects and interactions of parameters reflecting mechanical loading and sex steroids. Healthy male siblings (n = 677; 25-45 yr) were recruited in a cross-sectional, population-based study. Physical activity score was assessed by a self-reported questionnaire. Cross-sectional muscle area (CSMA) and bone parameters of radius (4% and 66% site) and tibia (66% site) were assessed using pQCT. Peak torque of biceps and quadriceps muscles was assessed by isokinetic dynamometry. Serum testosterone (T) and estradiol (E(2)) levels were measured using immunoassays; free hormone fractions were calculated. Relations between indices of bone strength, CSMA, muscle strength, and sex steroids were studied using linear mixed-effects modeling. Physical activity, CSMA, and muscle strength were positively associated with indices of bone strength, except for volumetric BMD (vBMD). After controlling for age, weight, and height, free E(2) levels were positively associated with trabecular and cortical vBMD, negatively associated with endosteal circumference at the radius, and positively associated with cortical vBMD at the tibia. In addition, positive interactions between physical activity and serum E(2) concentrations were observed for bone size at the tibia. No associations between free T levels and pQCT bone parameters were found. In this population of healthy men at the age of PBM, parameters reflecting mechanical loading are confirmed as important determinants of bone size. E(2), but not T, levels are positively associated with vBMD and modulate the impact of physical activity on bone size at the tibia.

GID: 1724; Last update: 17.02.2009