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Osteoporos Int. 2006;17(6):908-13. Epub 2006 Mar 7.

ALDH2 polymorphisms and bone mineral density in an elderly Japanese population.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nagoya University School of Medicine, 65 Tsurumai-Cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya, 4668550, Aichi, Japan.



Osteoporosis is a multifactorial genetic disease which greatly increases the risk of bone fracture in elderly persons.


Four hundred and three recipients of a community health screening program were examined for the presence/absence of osteoporosis and 11 kinds of gene polymorphisms as a means of determining the relation between these gene polymorphisms and osteoporosis. The gene polymorphisms screened were: alcohol sensitivity-associated polymorphisms of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH2) Arg47His, aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) Glu487Lys, smoking sensitivity-associated polymorphisms of glutathione S transferase (GST) M1, (GST)T1, NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) C609T, inflammation-associated polymorphisms of interleukin-1beta (IL-1B)T-31C, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) T-1031C, endothelial constitutive nitric oxide synthase (ecNOS) Glu298Asp, longevity-associated polymorphism of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) 5178 A/C, allergy-associated polymorphism of interleukin-4 (IL-4), and immunity-associated polymorphism of CD14.


A significant association was found between the ALDH2Glu478Lys gene polymorphisms and osteoporosis. In the osteoporosis group of patients, a significant difference was noted between the Lys/Lys group and the group comprising Glu/Lys and Glu/Glu groups (namely, the genotypes including Glu alleles). In the Lys/Lys group, after age, sex, BMI, smoking history and alcohol consumption history had been adjusted for, the morbidity rate was significantly elevated [odds ratio (OR): 3.33; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.28-8.71; p=0.014], and the effect was even more evident in the sub-group of women with osteoporosis (OR: 4.31; 95% CI: 1.24-14.92; p=0.021).


The present results suggest that active prophylactic interventions such as dietary, exercise, and pharmacological therapies should be offered to non-carriers of the Glu allele (Lys/Lys).

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