Low estrogen levels in men linked to increased risk for hip fracture

May 01, 2006

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- A new study has found that men with low estrogen levels have an increased risk for future hip fracture, and those with both low estrogen and low testosterone levels have the greatest risk.

The study, to be published in the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine, was conducted by Shreyasee Amin, M.D., Mayo Clinic rheumatologist, and colleagues studying men from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study (http://www.framingham.com/heart) prior to her career at Mayo Clinic.

The study examined 793 men who had their estrogen and testosterone levels measured between 1981 and 1983 and no record of prior hip fracture. They were followed until 1999. The men were categorized as having low, midrange or high levels of each hormone. The researchers also recorded hip fractures not associated with high trauma occurring since the study start. During the study, 39 men experienced a low trauma hip fracture (for example, incurred due to a fall from a standing height or less). Those with low estrogen levels (total estradiol levels below 18 picograms per milliliter) had 3.1 times the risk of hip fracture compared to men with high estrogen levels. There was no significant increase in hip fracture risk for men with low testosterone levels alone. However, men with both low estrogen and low testosterone levels had the greatest risk, with 6.5 times the risk of hip fracture compared to the men who had both estrogen and testosterone levels in the high range or midrange.

This study is the first to report the link between low estrogen and hip fracture in a study group of men from the general population followed over time.

Though many people associate testosterone with men and estrogen with women, men possess both hormones, according to Dr. Amin.

The researchers who undertook this study knew that low estrogen levels had been associated with low bone mineral density in elderly men, but any link to hip fracture, an important health risk in the elderly, was unknown. Hip fractures are worrisome in the elderly, especially in men, explains Dr. Amin. Up to 50 percent of men require institutionalized care after the fracture. Hip fracture also is linked to higher levels of mortality: up to 37 percent of men die within one year of fracture.

"These findings add further evidence to the important role of estrogen in the bone health of older men," says Dr. Amin. "It's important for us to know what puts men at risk for hip fracture so that we can better determine how we may prevent these fractures."

Currently, no tests are routinely performed in men to determine estrogen levels. A man known to have low estrogen levels, however, may potentially benefit from interventions to improve his bone density and prevent hip fracture, says Dr. Amin. This may be especially important if he has low testosterone levels as well.
-end-
Other researchers involved in this study include Yuqinq Zhang, D.Sc.; David Felson, M.D.; Clark Sawin, M.D.; Marian Hannan, D.Sc.; Peter W.F. Wilson, M.D.; and Douglas Kiel, M.D. None of these researchers are from Mayo Clinic.

To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. MayoClinic.com (www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.

Mayo Clinic

Related Estrogen Articles from Brightsurf:

Removal of synthetic estrogen from water
Synthetic estrogens from pharmaceuticals contaminate rivers and threaten the health of humans and fish.

Does estrogen influence alcohol use disorder?
A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that high estrogen levels may make alcohol more rewarding to female mice.

Estrogen's role in the sex differences of alcohol abuse
Fluctuating estrogen levels may make alcohol more rewarding to female mice, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Estrogen's opposing effects on mammary tumors in dogs
Estrogen's role in canine mammary cancer is more complex than previously understood, according to new research led by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

Placenta transit of an environmental estrogen
The human foetus is considered to be particularly sensitive to environmental contaminants.

Estrogen improves Parkinson's disease symptoms
Brain-selective estrogen treatment improves the symptoms of Parkinson's disease in male mice, according to new research published in JNeurosci.

The sneaky way estrogen drives brain metastasis in non-estrogen-dependent breast cancers
University of Colorado Cancer Center study shows that while estrogen doesn't directly affect triple-negative breast cancer cells, it can affect surrounding brain cells in ways that promote cancer cell migration and invasiveness

New study demonstrates effectiveness and safety of vaginal estrogen
Despite its proven effectiveness in treating the genital symptoms of menopause, low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy remains underused largely because of misperceptions regarding its safety.

Hidden estrogen receptors in the breast epithelium
EPFL scientists have uncovered that next to estrogen receptor positive and negative there are cells with very low amounts of the receptor protein.

Estrogen may protect against depression after heart attack
Estrogen may protect against heart failure-related depression by preventing the production of inflammation-causing chemicals in the brain.

Read More: Estrogen News and Estrogen Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.