Introduction: Although it has been established that hyperthyroidism leads to reduced bone mineral density (BMD), with accelerated bone turnover promoting bone resorption in female patients, there is a dearth of data for male patients with hyperthyroidism. This study evaluated BMD and bone metabolism in male patients with Graves' disease.
Methods: The study included 56 Japanese male patients with newly diagnosed Graves' disease and 34 normal Japanese male control subjects of similar age and body mass index. We used dual energy x-ray absorptiometry to measure BMD at sites with different cortical/cancellous bone ratios (lumbar spine, femoral neck, and distal radius).
Results: At the lumbar spine and the distal radius, BMD and T-scores were significantly lower for patients than for controls. At the femoral neck, on the other hand, the same values were relatively, but not significantly, lower in patients than in controls. However, Z-scores at all three sites were significantly lower for patients than for controls. The Z -score at the distal radius of patients was significantly lower than that at their lumbar spine and femoral neck. In addition, Z-score at the distal radius correlated negatively with age, free thyroxine, thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibodies, thyroid stimulating antibody, and urinary N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen normalized by creatinine.
Conclusions: These results indicate a high prevalence of cortical bone loss in male patients with Graves' disease, especially elderly patients. We conclude that BMD measurement is crucial in all Graves' disease patients regardless of their gender and that the radial BMD as well as BMD at the lumbar spine and femoral neck should be monitored to effectively prevent bone loss and subsequent fracture.