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Increased fracture rates in Turner's syndrome: a nationwide questionnaire survey

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Summary background and objectives

Reduced bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) have previously been reported in Turner's syndrome, although appropriate GH treatment and early induction of puberty seem to permit normal bone mass accumulation. Furthermore, an increased risk of fractures and osteoporosis have been reported in a registry study. The aim of the present study was to further characterize the risk of fractures in TS and to explore risk factors, in a historical follow-up survey based on a self-administered questionnaire. study groups

The questionnaire was issued to all females with TS (n = 632) in Denmark and to 1888 randomly selected controls (C) matched for age and geographical region. A total of 322 patients (51%) and 1169 controls (62%) returned the questionnaire. results

TS women were younger than C (30 years, range: 1–73 years vs. 34 years, range 2–82 years, P < 0·0005), smoked less often (17%vs. 27%, P < 0·0005), and had less frequent spontaneous menstruation (18%vs. 86%, P < 0·0005). In contrast, they used hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) more often (71%vs. 7%, P < 0·0005). The median age at start of HRT was 16 years (range 8–59 years) in TS vs. 42 years (range 12–53 years) in C (P < 0·0005). Above the age of 15 years, 83% of TS and 8% of C used HRT. GH had been used by 37% of TS but only 0·2% of C. Both type 1 and 2 diabetes were increased sevenfold among TS. Altogether, 77 individuals with TS had 109 fractures. The fracture risk was increased in TS [hazard ratio (HR, status) 1·35, confidence interval (CI) 1·04–1·75, P = 0·025]. Time to first fracture was reduced in TS (53 ± 2 vs. 63 ± 1; log-rank P = 0·03). Spontaneous menstruation was protective in females above 13 years of age (HR: 0·70, CI 0·54–0·93, P = 0·012). A history of parental fractures increased the risk (HR 1·92, CI 1·62–2·27, P < 0·001). Fractures of the forearm was more frequent among TS (P = 0·02). conclusion

The present nationwide survey, based on questionnaires, confirms an increased risk of early fractures in TS, especially in those without ovarian function and with a positive family history of fracture and osteoporosis. It thereby emphasizes the need for being vigilant with respect to BMD measurements in these patients.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Medical Department M (Endocrinology and Diabetes) and Medical Research Laboratories, Aarhus Kommunehospital and 2: Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism C, Aarhus Amtssygehus, Aarhus University Hospital, Århus and 3: Department of Endocrinology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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