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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Jul;84(7):2286-90.

Effect of sex hormone replacement on the insulin-like growth factor system and bone mineral: a cross-sectional and longitudinal study in 595 perimenopausal women participating in the Danish Osteoporosis Prevention Study.

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Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.


This study used a cross-sectional design to investigate relationships among serum insulin-like growth factor (IGF) parameters (total serum IGF-I, IGF-II, and IGF-binding protein-3), serum estradiol, and bone mineral density (BMD) stratified for potential confounders, and a longitudinal design to investigate the effects of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) on IGFs and BMD. Five hundred and ninety-five perimenopausal women (median age, 50.0 yr; range, 45-56 yr) participating in the Danish Osteoporosis Prevention Study were investigated in a cross-sectional study, and a randomly selected subgroup of 110 was followed after 5 yr in a longitudinal study for changes in serum IGFs and BMD of lumbar spine, femoral neck, and ultradistal forearm during (n = 46) or without HRT (n = 64). In the cross-sectional study, serum IGF-I correlated positively to distal forearm BMD and spine BMD, but not to femoral neck BMD, after stratification for age, body mass index, and other variables. In the follow-up study, HRT decreased IGF-I and IGF-II, but did not influence the age-related decline in IGF-binding protein-3 significantly. Serum alkaline phosphatase and urinary hydroxyproline/creatinine ratio both decreased during HRT, whereas BMD increased compared to control values. After adjustment for age, body mass index, treatment, and other factors, IGF-I correlated positively to changes in forearm and femoral neck BMD, but not to changes in spine BMD. We conclude that serum IGF-I was positively associated to bone mineral density. Oral HRT decreases IGF-I and IGF-II.

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