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Osteoporos Int. 1999;9(3):214-9.

Vitamin D receptor translation initiation codon polymorphism and markers of osteoporotic risk in older African-American women.

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Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


A polymorphism at the first of two potential translation initiation codons in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene defined by the FokI restriction endonuclease has been associated with reduced bone mineral density (BMD) among Caucasian, Asian, and Mexican-American women. We tested the hypothesis that the FokI polymorphism is related to markers of osteoporotic risk in 104 community-dwelling African-American women aged 65 years and older. Six percent of the African-American women had the ff genotype, 32% were heterozygous, and 63% had the FF genotype. FokI genotype frequencies did not differ from Hardy-Weinberg expectations. Hip and calcaneal BMD, calcaneal ultrasound attenuation and hip geometry from pelvic radiographs did not differ significantly by FokI genotypes or between women with and without the rare FokI allele. There was also no association between the FokI polymorphism and biochemical markers of bone turnover or fractional calcium absorption. We conclude that the VDR start codon polymorphism does not have a major influence on osteoporotic risk in older African-American women.

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