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Horm Metab Res. 2009 Aug;41(8):635-40. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1216375. Epub 2009 Apr 23.

Polymorphisms of the vitamin D receptor gene and stress fractures.

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  • 11Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Medical School, Democritus University of Thrace, University General Hospital of Alexandroupolis, Alexandroupolis, Greece.


Our aim was to evaluate the association between VDR polymorphisms and calcaneal Stiffness Index (SI) with stress fractures in a case control study including male military personnel. Thirty- two patients with stress fractures were matched with 32 uninjured healthy volunteers (controls), by gender, age, height, body weight, and level of physical activity. The two groups were genotyped for the FokI, BsmI, ApaI, and TaqI polymorphisms of the VDR gene with PCR-RFLP method. In addition, calcaneal SI was measured by heel quantitative ultrasound in both groups. Data were analyzed by chi-squared test and logistic regression analysis. The f allele was significantly more frequent in patients than in controls (p=0.013), while the B allele showed such a tendency without reaching statistical significance (p=0.052). Among the entire cohort, a 2.7-fold and a 2.0-fold increase in risk of stress fractures was associated with the f and B alleles (OR, 2.7, 95% CI, 1.2-5.9; p=0.014 and OR, 2.0, 95% CI, 1.0-4.1; p=0.053, respectively). No statistically significant association was found between the incidence of stress fractures and t or a alleles. Decreased T-scores were also associated with the presence of f and B alleles. Mean values of T-scores of SI were statistically significantly lower in patients than in controls (p=0.018). These results suggest that the FokI and BsmI polymorphisms of the VDR gene could be associated with increased risk of stress fractures among military personnel. Moreover, a low calcaneal SI could represent a measurable index of this increased risk.

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