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Effect of Estrogens and Calcium Carbonate on Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Women

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Grant support: by National Institutes of Health Contract 72-2792.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Robert R. Recker, M.D.; Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Creighton University School of Medicine, 10th and Castelar; Omaha, NB 68108.

Omaha, Nebraska

Ann Intern Med. 1977;87(6):649-655. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-87-6-649
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Sixty postmenopausal women were placed in three groups—control, sex hormone-treated, and CaCO3-treated—and followed for 2 years. Skeletal mass decreased by 1.18%/year in the control group, 0.15%/year in the hormone group, and 0.22%/year in the CaCO3 group by radiogrammetry; and 2.88%/year in the control group, 0.73%/year in the hormone group, and 1.83%/year in the CaCO3 group by photon absorptiometry. The treatment groups differed significantly from the control group except for photon absorptiometry in the CaCO3 group. Bone accretion and resorption decreased in the treatment groups as measured by calcium tracer kinetics, resorption more so than accretion. We conclude that [1] these techniques are sufficiently sensitive to detect age-related bone loss; [2] postmenopausal sex-hormone replacement measurably decreases age-related bone loss by suppressing bone turnover, resorption more than accretion; and [3] calcium supplements produce the same effect but at the dose we used were slightly less effective.





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