In the elderly, degenerative changes in the lumbar spine are common, contributing to falsely elevated bone mineral density (BMD) values. The parathyroid hormone (PTH) system plays an important role in the regulation of bone turnover and we explore the hypothesis that polymorphisms (SNPs) within genes in this pathway (PTH, PTHLH, PTH1R and PTH2R) contribute to degenerative manifestations of the spine in elderly women. The study included 1,004 Swedish women aged 75 years from the population-based OPRA cohort who attended follow-up at 5 and 10 years. Lumbar spine BMD was assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and each individual vertebra was evaluated visually on the DXA image for apparent degenerative manifestations. Six SNPs in PTH and 3 SNPs each in PTH1R, PTH2R and PTHLH were analysed. Among women with degenerative manifestations at the lumbar spine, there was an over-representation at baseline of those carrying the PTH2R SNP rs897083 A-allele (p = 0.0021; odds ratio 1.5 95 % CI 1.2-2.0) and across the duration of follow-up (p = 0.0008). No association was observed between degenerative manifestations and variation in the other genes. None of the PTH hormone system genes were associated with vertebral fracture. Variation in the PTH2R gene (Chr2q34, rs897083) may contribute to the age-associated degenerative manifestations that develop at the lumbar spine.
- Medicinsk genetik