Prediction of rapid bone loss in postmenopausal women

Lancet. 1987 May 16;1(8542):1105-8. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(87)91671-0.


Bone loss was determined in 178 women in the early postmenopausal period by photon absorptiometry measurement of forearm bone mineral content (BMC) every 3 months for 2 years. With a sequential cut-off technique, the results of a single determination of body fat mass, urinary calcium and hydroxyproline, and serum alkaline phosphatase, carried out at the first examination, correctly identified 79% of "fast bone losers" (bone loss greater than 3% annually) and 78% of "slow bone losers". With this simple approach the majority of women at highest risk of osteoporotic fractures in later life can be identified in the early postmenopausal period and started on prophylactic hormone replacement therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis*
  • Time Factors