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Post-Transplant Events

Low bone mineral density is associated with insulin resistance in bone marrow transplant subjects


Post-BMT subjects have an increased bone fracture risk. Additionally, several factors were associated with osteopenia and osteoporosis in these individuals. We aimed to identify other factors associated with osteopenia and osteoporosis in allogeneic post-BMT subjects. We conducted a cross-sectional study with 47 allogeneic post- BMT subjects. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), parathyroid hormone, ferritin, vitamin B12, insulin, glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels were measured. Insulin resistance and secretion were estimated through the homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and homeostatic model assessment for β-cell function (HOMA-B), respectively. A bone densitometry (BMD) was also obtained. The median time after BMT was 47.7 (12–115) months. Osteoporosis was identified in 17.0% of the subjects and osteopenia in 19.7%. The mean serum ferritin (P=0.002), insulin (P<0.0001), glucose (P=0.003) and triglyceride (P=0.018) levels were higher in individuals with osteopenia/osteoporosis. HOMA-IR (P<0.0001) and HOMA-B (P<0.0001) were increased in post-BMT subjects with osteopenia/osteoporosis. There was no other factor associated with the outcome. After adjustments ferritin, serum 25(OH)D and HOMA-IR remained independently associated with osteopenia/osteoporosis; however triglycerides no longer were. In conclusion, in the present study, low serum 25(OH)D levels, high serum ferritin levels and insulin resistance were associated with osteopenia/osteoporosis in post-BMT subjects.

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The study was supported by Fundo de Incentivo a Pesquisa of the Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre and by CAPES-Brazil, through the Post-graduation Programme in Medicine: Medical Sciences, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.

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Correspondence to M O Premaor.

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Faulhaber, G., Premaor, M., Moser Filho, H. et al. Low bone mineral density is associated with insulin resistance in bone marrow transplant subjects. Bone Marrow Transplant 43, 953–957 (2009).

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  • osteopenia
  • insulin resistance
  • transplantation
  • bone mineral density

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