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23 THE RELATIONSHIP OF PLASMA HOMOCYSTEINE LEVELS TO BONE MINERAL DENSITY IN CHILDREN
  1. J. H. Wang,
  2. V. Gilsanz
  1. Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona

Abstract

Homocysteine, an amino acid intermediate in methionine metabolism, has been associated with cardiovascular disease, dementia, and osteoporosis. While recent studies show that elevated homocysteine levels is a predictor for the risk of bone fractures in older adults, and homocystinuria, a rare genetic disease, is often associated with generalized osteoporosis, little is known about the possible relationship of plasma homocysteine levels to bone mineral density in healthy female children who have reached peak bone mass. This study examined the potential link between peak bone mass, a major determinant of fractures in the elderly and in young women, and plasma homocysteine levels. We compared the plasma homocysteine concentrations of 25 healthy subjects in the highest quartile of bone density to 25 healthy subjects in the lower quartile of bone density. Student's t-tests and linear regression models were used to analyze the data. A statistically significant difference was found between the highest and lowest quartiles of bone density as well as between the mean homocysteine levels of the two quartiles (95 percent confidence interval). Linear regression showed a negative association (r = -0.467) between homocysteine levels and bone density of the subjects. These finding show a possible association between elevated homocysteine concentrations and lowered bone density in healthy female children.

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