University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006
Hormone therapy in elderly women; a comparative study with alendronate of the effects on bone, cardiovascular risk factors, periodontal conditions and quality of life
Doctoral dissertation, June 2006.
Thirty percent of 70-year-old women have osteoporosis; after age of 80 its prevalence is up to 70%. Postmenopausal women with osteoporosis seem to be at an increased risk for cardiovascular events, and deterioration of oral health, as shown by attachment loss of teeth, which is proportional to the severity of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can be treated with many different medication, e.g. estrogen and alendronate.
We randomized 90 elderly osteoporotic women (65-80 years of age) to receive hormone therapy (HT)(2mg E2+NETA), 10mg alendronate, and their combination for two years and compared their effects on bone mineral density (BMD) and turnover, two surrogate markers of the risk of cardiovascular diseases, C-reactive protein (CRP) and E-selectin, as well as oral health. The effect of HT on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was studied in the population-based cohort of 1663 postmenopausal women (mean age 68 yr) (585 estrogen users and 1078 non-users).
BMD was measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) at 0, 12 and 24 months. Urinary N-telopeptide (NTX) of type I collagen, a marker of bone resorption, and serum aminoterminal propeptide of human type I procollagen (PINP), a marker of bone formation, were measured every six months of treatment. Serum CRP and E-selectin, were measured at 0, 6, and 12 months. Dental, and periodontal conditions, and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-8 levels were studied to evaluate the oral health status and for the mouth symptoms a structured questionnaire was used. The HRQoL was measured with 15D questionnaire.
Lumbar spine BMD increased similarly in all treatment groups (6.8-8.4% and 9.1-11.2%). Only HT increased femoral neck BMD at both 12 (4.9%) and 24 months (5.8%), at the latter time point the HT group differed significantly from the other groups. HT reduced bone marker levels of NTX and PINP significantly less than other two groups.Oral HT significantly increased serum CRP level by 76.5% at 6 and by 47.1% (NS) at 12 months, and decreased serum E-selectin level by 24.3% and 30.0%. Alendronate had no effect on these surrogate markers.
Alendronate caused a decrease in the resting salivary flow rate and tended to increase GCF MMP-8 levels. Otherwise, there was no effect on the parameters of oral health. HT improved the HRQoL of elderly women significantly on the dimensions of usual activities, vitality and sexual activity, but the overall improvement in HRQoL was neither statistically significant nor clinically important.
In conclusion, bisphosphonates might be the first option to start the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis in the old age.
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© University of Helsinki 2006
Last updated 31.05.2006