Bone mass and sex steroid concentrations in postmenopausal caucasian diabetics

C. Conrad Johnston, Siu L. Hui, Christopher Longcope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations


We have evaluated radial bone mass and sex steroid concentrations in a group of postmenopausal white type 2 diabetics, that group at greatest risk of developing osteoporosis. The linear regression of midshaft bone mass on age for 79 patients showed a rate of loss about half the rate for normals. These data suggest that bone is lost at a slower rate by this group, and the difference cannot be explained by obesity or glucose control alone. A subset of 40 of these subjects was chosen for further study. As expected, these women had significantly higher bone mass than normals; in addition, they were significantly heavier (82.4 ± 2.7 kg v 65.3 ± 1.8 kg, P < .001), and had higher body mass index (32.1 ± 1.0 kg/m2 v 25.2 ± 0.6 kg/m2, P < .001), than controls. Serum estrone concentrations were higher (49.8 ± 3.7 pg/mL v 28.5 ± 1.8 pg/mL, P < .001); serum androstenedione (0.28 ± 0.03 ng/mL v 0.51 ± 0.04 ng/mL, P < .001), and serum testosterone (0.18 ± 0.02 ng/mL v 0.26 ± 0.02 ng/mL, P < .02) concentrations were lower among diabetics than controls. Serum estradiol (15.1 ± 1.7 pg/mL v 15.3 ± 1.0 pg/mL, P > .5) was not significantly different. Multiple regression analysis indicates that the excess level of estrone concentration among diabetics increased with the degree of obesity. The explanation for the lower concentration of the other sex steroids among diabetics is not known.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-550
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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