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Surgery. 1995 Jul;118(1):109-14.

Fracture incidence in postmenopausal women with primary hyperparathyroidism.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha 68198-5620, USA.



The association of bone loss and increased fractures in postmenopausal women with minimally symptomatic hyperparathyroidism has not been clearly defined. This study was done to determine the frequency of fractures in postmenopausal women with hyperparathyroidism.


Forty-six postmenopausal women who had undergone parathyroidectomy for hyperparathyroidism during a 5-year period (1986 to 1991) were interviewed, and their medical records were examined to determine their fracture history. Forty-four postmenopausal women without hyperparathyroidism were contacted by random digit dialing and interviewed as controls.


The groups were comparable with regard to age, weight, height, race, and age at menopause. Medical conditions and medication use were also similar, except for more reports of hypothyroidism in the hyperparathyroidism group (p = 0.05). Only 13% of women presented for treatment because of bone concerns, either fractures (9%) or low bone density (4%). However, on interview, 48% of the patients with hyperparathyroidism reported fractures compared with 25% of the controls (p = 0.02), a difference that remained even when those presenting with bone disease were excluded (p = 0.05). Of those with fractures, multiple fractures occurred in 36% of patients with hyperparathyroidism compared with 9% of controls and generally occurred after minor rather than major trauma (92% versus 45%, p = 0.002). Appendicular skeletal sites were reported for 86% of hyperparathyroidism group's and 92% of control group's fractures. Moreover, 50% of patients with hyperparathyroidism reported height loss compared with 27% of the control group (p = 0.05).


This study shows that postmenopausal women with hyperparathyroidism reported more fractures and height loss than the control group, even when patients with hyperparathyroidism who presented because of bone disease were excluded.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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