Growth hormone secretion and bone mineral density in prepubertal black and white boys

N. M. Wright, N. Papadea, J. D. Veldhuis, N. H. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Racial differences in bone mineral density (BMD) appear to account in part for racial differ-II ences in the incidence of osteoporosis and fractures. We previously reported that the greater BMD in adult blacks compared with whites is associated with a higher serum 17β-estradiol and greater secretion of growth hormone (GH) in men but not women. To determine whether these racial differences occur in prepubertal boys, we measured spontaneous overnight GH secretion, serum testosterone, 17β-estradiol, IGF-I, and IG-FBP3, IGF-I/ IGFBP3 ratio, BMD of the total body, forearm, lumbar spine, trochanter, and femoral neck, and lean body mass and body fat in 14 healthy black and 16 white boys ages 6-7 years. Measurements of GH were obtained at 20-minute intervals for 12 hours. Results were analyzed by deconvolution and are expressed as mean ± SE. Whereas BMD of the hip (0.755 ± 0.020 vs 0.663 ± 0.021 g/cm2, P = 0.0037), trochanter (0.617 ± 0.014 vs 0.552 ± 0.018 g/cm2, P = 0.0102) and femoral neck (0.710 ± 0.018 vs 0.6381 ± 0.021 g/cm2 P = 0.0157) were significantly greater in black compared with white boys, BMD of the total body (0.768 ± 0.010 vs 0.741 ± 0.012 g/cm2, NS), forearm (0.405 ± 0.010 vs 0.380 ± 0.008 g/cm2, NS), and lumbar spine (0.612 ± 0.013 vs 0.609 ± 0.021 g/cm2, NS) was not different in the two groups. Stepwise regression analysis showed significant correlations between BMD and race at each skeletal site except the lumbar spine and trochanter. Deconvolution analysis revealed no racial difference in any of the GH measurements. Whereas serum testosterone, serum 17β-estradiol, and serum IGF-I were not different, serum IGFBP-3 was higher and the molar ratio of serum IGF-1/IGFBP-3 was lower in white than in black males. In summary, prepubertal BMD is higher in black than in white males at the hip, trochanter, and femoral neck, and the racial difference does not result from differences in secretion of GH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-152
Number of pages7
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2002


  • 17β-Estradiol
  • Bone mineral density
  • Growth hormone
  • Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3
  • Insulin-like growth factor-I
  • Race
  • Sex hormone-binding globulin
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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