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1.  The clinical utility of bone marker measurements in osteoporosis 
Osteoporosis is characterised by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, resulting in increased fragility and susceptibility to fracture. Osteoporotic fractures are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Direct medical costs from such fractures in the UK are currently estimated at over two billion pounds per year, resulting in a substantial healthcare burden that is expected to rise exponentially due to increasing life expectancy. Currently bone mineral density is the WHO standard for diagnosis of osteoporosis, but poor sensitivity means that potential fractures will be missed if it is used alone. During the past decade considerable progress has been made in the identification and characterisation of specific biomarkers to aid the management of metabolic bone disease. Technological developments have greatly enhanced assay performance producing reliable, rapid, non-invasive cost effective assays with improved sensitivity and specificity. We now have a greater understanding of the need to regulate pre-analytical sample collection to minimise the effects of biological variation. However, bone turnover markers (BTMs) still have limited clinical utility. It is not routinely recommended to use BTMs to select those at risk of fractures, but baseline measurements of resorption markers are useful before commencement of anti-resorptive treatment and can be checked 3–6 months later to monitor response and adherence to treatment. Similarly, formation markers can be used to monitor bone forming agents. BTMs may also be useful when monitoring patients during treatment holidays and aid in the decision as to when therapy should be recommenced. Recent recommendations by the Bone Marker Standards Working Group propose to standardise research and include a specific marker of bone resorption (CTX) and bone formation (P1NP) in all future studies. It is hoped that improved research in turn will lead to optimised markers for the clinical management of osteoporosis and other bone diseases.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-11-201
PMCID: PMC3765909  PMID: 23984630
Bone turnover markers; Bone formation; Bone resorption; Osteoporosis; Biological variability
4.  Lack of Association of Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 Gene Haplotypes with Bone Mineral Density, Bone Loss, or Risk of Fractures in Men 
Journal of Osteoporosis  2011;2011:243465.
Introduction. The association of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) with BMD and risk of fracture was suggested by a recent linkage study, but subsequent studies have been contradictory. We report the results of a study of the relationship between BMP2 genotypes and BMD, annual change in BMD, and risk of fracture in male subjects. Materials and Methods. We tested three single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the BMP2 gene, including Ser37Ala SNP, in 342 Caucasian Englishmen, comprising 224 control and 118 osteoporotic subjects. Results. BMP2 SNP1 (Ser37Ala) genotypes were found to have similar low frequency in control subjects and men with osteoporosis. The major informative polymorphism, BMP2 SNP3 (Arg190Ser), showed no statistically significant association with weight, height, BMD, change in BMD at hip or lumbar spine, and risk of fracture. Conclusion. There were no genotypic or haplotypic effects of the BMP2 candidate gene on BMD, change in BMD, or fracture risk identified in this cohort.
doi:10.4061/2011/243465
PMCID: PMC3195445  PMID: 22013543
5.  Osteoporosis in the aging male: Treatment options 
Clinical Interventions in Aging  2007;2(4):521-536.
In elderly women, loss in bone mass and micro-architectural changes are generally attributed to the onset of menopause. Men do not experience menopause, they do, however, experience age-related acceleration in bone loss and micro-architecture deterioration. The incidence of osteoporotic fractures in elderly men, just as in aged women, increases exponentially with age; the rise in men, however, is some 5–10 years later than in women. Up to 50% of male osteoporotics have no identifiable etiology; however elderly males have much higher likelihood of having an identifiable secondary cause than younger men. Therefore, clinical and laboratory evaluation of aged male osteoporotics must be thorough and should be aimed at identifying lifestyle or conditions contributing to bone loss and fragility. It is essential to identify and treat secondary causes and ensure adequate vitamin D and calcium intake before embarking upon treatment with pharmacological agents. The evidence from a limited number of trials suggests that bisphosphonates, especially alendronate and risedronate, are effective in improving BMD, and seem to be the treatments of choice in aged men with osteoporosis. In cases where bisphosphonates are contra-indicated or ineffective, teriparatide or alternatives such as strontium should be considered.
PMCID: PMC2686344  PMID: 18225452
male osteoporosis; bone mineral density; fracture risk; bisphosphonates; PTH

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