The relationship of biochemical markers of bone turnover to bone density changes in postmenopausal women: results from the Postmenopausal Estrogen/Progestin Interventions (PEPI) trial.J Bone Miner Res 1999; 14(9):1583-95JB
We assessed the associations of eight bone turnover markers (BTMs) with baseline and 1-year percentage changes in lumbar spine and hip bone mineral density (BMD) of 293 postmenopausal women undergoing treatment with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or placebo using squared correlation coefficients (R2). In 239 women assigned to treatment with estrogen alone or with with estrogen plus progestins (active treatment), mean percentage changes for all markers decreased significantly and remained below baseline values through 3 years of study, whereas mean percentage changes for 54 women assigned to the placebo group showed no significant change from baseline in any marker. At baseline, age and body mass index (BMI) together accounted for 16% and 25% of the variance in spine and hip BMD, respectively. The telopeptide resorption marker, cross-linked N-telopeptide of type I collagen (NTX), alone accounted for 12% and 8% of variance, respectively. Another telopeptide, carboxy-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (Crosslaps), accounted for 8% and 7% of variance, respectively. A bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BALP-2) accounted for 8% of variance at the spine and 5% at the hip. No other marker accounted for more than 5% of total variance at either site; adding either baseline NTX, Crosslaps, or BAP-2 to regressions containing age and BMI increased R2 values at the spine and hip to about 22% and 28%, respectively. In the placebo group, baseline spine BMD accounted for 4% of the variance in 1-year spine BMD percentage change, whereas baseline values for age and BMI accounted for 1% and 0% of the variance, respectively; none of the three accounted for more than 0% of hip BMD percentage change; Crosslaps and NTX contributed 5% and 4% to the variance in 1-year spine BMD percentage change, but other markers accounted for < 2% of variance at the spine. At the hip, another BALP (BALP-1) accounted for 4% of variance, but no other baseline marker except NTX accounted for more than 1% of variance. In the active treatment group, baseline values for age, BMI, and spine BMD together accounted for 13% of the percentage change in spine BMD and for 4% of the BMD change at the hip. No individual or pair of baseline markers significantly enhanced these R2 values, but addition of 1-year percentage changes in some individual markers did significantly increase it. The largest R2 value was obtained by adding the percentage change in BALP-2, which increased the R2 in spine BMD percentage change to 20% and that at the hip to 8%. Adding baseline and change variables for all eight markers to the regression increased R2 to 28% at the spine and 12% at the hip. Restricting the set of analyses to individuals who suppressed marker activity beyond the precision error for the measurement did not improve R2s for the regressions. When baseline marker values were stratified into quartiles, only NTX and osteocalcin showed significant relationships between quartile and change in spine BMD, and these did not reach significance at the hip. When the 1-year change in markers was stratified into quartiles, significant relationships with percentage change in spine BMD were observed only for BALP phosphatases. We conclude that BTMs are not a surrogate for BMD to identify women with low bone mass and that they offer little useful information for predicting BMD changes for individual untreated or HRT-treated postmenopausal women.