The density of bone in the distal third of the radius was measured in 13 men and 17 women with primary hyperparathyroidism. The bone density was significantly reduced (as compared to age-matched controls) in 7 of 11 postmenopausal women. However, it was reduced in only 2 of 13 men and in 1 of 6 premenopausal women. Thus, most of the postmenopausal women with primary hyperparathyroidism had low bone density, whereas most men and premenopausal women with this condition had normal bone density. The results support the conclusion that œstrogen deficiency may contribute to the development of bone disease by sensitising bone to the action of parathyroid hormone.
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