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Lancet. 1995 Feb 18;345(8947):423-4.

Vitamin-D-receptor-gene polymorphisms and change in lumbar-spine bone mineral density.

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WHO Collaborating Centre for Osteoporosis and Bone Disease, Department of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland.


Common vitamin-D-receptor (VDR) gene allelic variants predict bone mineral density. We analysed VDR alleles and rate of change of lumbar-spine bone mineral density over 18 months in 72 elderly subjects. 9 BB homozygotes lost bone mineral density but 26 homozygotes for the alternative genotype (bb) did not (mean change -2.3 [SE 1.0] vs 0.9 [0.7]% per year, p < 0.05), irrespective of calcium intake. Among 37 heterozygotes (Bb), however, change in bone mineral density correlated with calcium intake (r = 0.35, p < 0.03). This association between a genetic marker and rate of bone loss in the elderly suggests that the effect of calcium intake on maintenance of bone mass could relate to VDR gene polymorphisms.

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