Research Article| Volume 55, ISSUE 2, P142-149, September 20, 2006

Sex steroids concentrations in relation to bone mineral density in men with coronary atherosclerosis



      Although suspected, relationships between sex steroids and bone mineral density (BMD) are not fully defined in male population. According to recent data there may also exist an association between low BMD and atherosclerosis.


      Our aim was to investigate relationships between serum sex steroids and BMD, and between BMD and atherosclerosis in men with coronary artery disease (CAD).

      Subjects and methods

      We recruited for the study 55 men aged 40–60 years with angiographically confirmed CAD and 30 healthy, age-matched controls. In each of the examined subjects serum levels of total testosterone (T), estradiol (E2), estrone and DHEA-S, as well as femoral neck, lumbar spine and total skeleton BMD were measured.


      We found that the prevalence of osteopenia/osteoporosis recognized on spine and/or femoral BMD (T-score below −1.0) did not differ between men with CAD and healthy controls (respectively 47% versus 47%; p = 0.8 in χ2 Yates test). The mean BMD value at different regions did not differ between both groups either. Hormonal status of men with CAD and normal BMD was similar to men with CAD and osteopenia/osteoporosis except for the level of testosterone. After adjustment for age and BMI, men with lower BMD had lower testosterone and lower T/E2 ratio than men with normal BMD (geometric means for testosterone were respectively: 16.1 ± 8.3 versus 16.2 ± 4.2; p < 0.05 in ANCOVA with BMI and age as covariates; for T/E2 ratio it was: 202.1 ± 94.7 versus 222.8 ± 83.9; p = 0.05). However, we did not find any correlation between sex hormones concentrations and bone mineral density. There was a relationship between the advance of atherosclerosis (ranged by number of stenotic arteries) and BMD: men with the most advanced form of the disease (three-vessels) had the lowest femoral neck BMD. The groups did not differ in lumbar spine BMD.


      Our data suggest that in middle-aged men with CAD: (1) lower serum testosterone and lower T/E2 ratio are associated with lower BMD; (2) advance of coronary atherosclerosis is inversely related to femoral neck BMD, however this relationship is weak and requires further investigation.


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