Background: Age and sex are of importance in the development of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), and the disease is most common in postmenopausal women. Skeletal complications are well known at an advanced stage of PHPT, although the impact on bone mineral density (BMD) is evident in patients with mild disease. This study examines the prevalence of PHPT in elderly men and its impact on BMD. Methods: Calcium homeostasis and BMD, measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry, were evaluated in 3014 men ages 69 to 81 years in the MrOS-Sweden cohort. Individuals with a low glomerular filtration rate (<21 ml/min/1.73 m2) and vitamin D deficiency (<50 nmol/l) were excluded. Among the remaining subjects, PHPT was assumed in subjects with above-normal albumin-adjusted serum (s)-calcium and plasma intact parathyroid hormone (p-iPTH) levels (PHPT group). BMD was compared between the PHPT group and men without PHPT. Subjects with inappropriately elevated iPTH (IEP group), based on both s-calcium (2.34 mmol/l) and iPTH (4.24 pmol/l) levels being above the median level, were compared to the rest of the cohort. Results: The prevalence of PHPT was estimated to be 0.73%. The mean BMD in the total hip and femoral neck was lower in the PHPT group than in the PHPT controls. Significantly lower BMD (p < 0.05) was seen in the IEP group (total hip and lumbar spine). Conclusions: Elderly men appear to have a lower prevalence of PHPT than women at the same age. The impact of disturbed calcium homeostasis on BMD was also evident in this population group.
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