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Osteoporos Int. 2000;11(3):271-7.

Biochemical responses of bone metabolism to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D administration in black and white women.

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Clinical Research and Regional Bone Centers, Helen Hayes Hospital, New York State Department of Health, W. Haverstraw 10993, USA.


The basis for the racial difference in bone mass between black and white women is not known. Lower bone turnover, better renal calcium conservation, and decreased sensitivity to parathyroid hormone (PTH) have been proposed as explanations. A dynamic comparison of osteoblast function, utilizing stimulation by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D], has not been tested between these two ethnic groups. We compared well-matched black (n = 15) and white (n = 15) premenopausal women, before and during 5 days of 1,25(OH)2D administration (1.0 microgram/day) in order to assess dynamic indices of bone metabolism. As expected, at baseline, black women had lower levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and biochemical markers of bone turnover with slightly higher levels of PTH. Black women also had superior renal calcium conservation than white women at baseline. In response to 1,25(OH)2D administration, black women had a slightly greater increase in serum calcium and greater decrement in PTH. Moreover, black women showed a lesser increment in urinary calcium than white women and a more robust increase in two markers of bone formation--osteocalcin and carboxyterminal propeptide of type 1 procollagen--than white women. There were no changes in bone resorption indices in either race upon 1,25(OH)2D administration. These data provide preliminary evidence that black women conserve calcium more efficiently under both static and dynamic conditions, and also appear to have better osteoblastic functional reserve than white women.

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