This study characterizes age-related changes in bone turnover markers in relation to ovarian hormones. The data (N = 236) were divided into 5-year age bands and three groups: premenopausal (Group I, N = 139), perimenopausal (Group II, N = 30), and postmenopausal (Group III, N = 67). Age-related increases in mean parathyroid hormone (PTH), osteocalcin (OC), and collagen telopeptide (CTx) levels were observed. Women in Group II (N = 37) with osteopenia had lower levels of E1G (P<0.001) with normal FSH levels as compared to 50 women in the same group with normal bone mineral density (BMD). Their mean OC levels were reduced (P<0.05) and CTx levels were significantly elevated (P<0.01). The mean E1G levels were significantly lower (P<0.001) and mean CTx levels were significantly higher (P<0.001) in 30 perimenopausal women (Group II) compared to premenopausal women. In 28 postmenopausal women (group III) the mean BMD levels and E1G were significantly lower (P<0.001) with elevated FSH levels (P<0.001). Increased CTx levels (P<0.0001) reflected a higher rate of bone resorption. These observations suggest that perimenopausal women with low E1G, elevated FSH should be screened for osteoporosis, and it may be valid to combine simultaneous measurements of bone turnover markers with ovarian hormones when screening women at risk for osteoporosis.
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