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Urinary Peptide May Aid in Identifying Rapid Bone Loss in Menopausal Women

Summary: Menopause represents a period of rapid bone loss in women, putting them at greater risk of fractures. The pattern of bone loss during menopause parallels changes in urinary N-telopeptide (U-NTX), a urinary marker of collagen breakdown, raising the possibility that U-NTX may be useful in assessing rates of bone loss and helping clinicians identify women who are losing bone at a faster than normal rate. To assess the ability of the marker in gauging the rate of bone loss, U-NTX was measured in early postmenopause in participants of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a study supported, in part, by NINR. Scientists then examined the association between U-NTX and annual rates of bone mineral density loss in the lumbar spine and femoral neck bone across the menopause transition, after the transition, and over the combined period. Researchers found that higher levels of U-NTX in early postmenopause were most strongly associated with greater bone loss across the menopause transition and more strongly associated with rate of bone loss in the lumbar spine than in the femoral neck. The finding may aid early identification of women who have experienced rapid bone loss during this critical period, allowing for timely interventions for preventing further bone loss, irreparable damage, and risk of fractures.

Citation: Shieh A, Ishii S, Greendale GA, Cauley JA, Lo JC, Karlamangla AS. Urinary N-telopeptide and Rate of Bone Loss Over the Menopause Transition and Early Postmenopause. J Bone Miner Res. 2016 Nov;31(11):2057-2064.

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