The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2020 , Vol 62 , Num 3
Effect of long-term glucocorticoid therapy on bone mineral density of the patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Sezin Ünal 1-2 ,Ayfer Alikaşifoğlu 1 ,Alev Özön 1 ,Nazlı Gönç 1 ,Nurgun Kandemir 1
1 Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara
2 Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Health Sciences, Etlik Zübeyde Hanım Women’s Health Teaching and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2020.03.002 Background and objectives. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is characterized by androgen excess which should be treated with life-long glucocorticoid therapy, thus can affect bone mineralization. We aimed to evaluate the bone mineral density (BMD) and determine the factors affecting bone mineralization in patients with CAH.

Method. This prospective case-control study was conducted in children, adolescents and young adults with classical 21-hydroxylase CAH, and age-, sex-, and pubertal stage matched healthy controls. Lumbar1-4 BMD was determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. BMD z-score was calculated using national standards with respect to height age and was referred as `low BMD` if z-score < -1 SD. Univariate analyses were performed between low BMD and normal BMD groups, and multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the independent predictors of low BMD. Correlations of Body Mass Index (BMI)-z-score, average serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone level, duration of treatment, average and cumulative glucocorticoid doses with BMD z-score were evaluated with Spearman analyses.

Results. Each group included 37 cases. BMD z-score of patients with CAH [0.47 (-0.04 – 1.56)] was higher than control group [-0.43 (-0.82 –0.05)]; p= < 0.001. Number of patients with low BMD was similar in both groups; [CAH: 6(16.2%), control: 5(13.5%); p= 0.744]. BMI- z-score was higher in patients with CAH when compared to control group; p= < 0.001. BMI z-score was lower in low BMD group as comparison to normal BMD group; p= 0.041. Each 1.0 decrease in BMI z-score, risk of having low BMD was found to increase by 1.79 (%95 CI: 1.03- 3.12, p= 0.040). BMI-z-score, average serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone level, duration of treatment, average and cumulative glucocorticoid doses were not found to be correlated with BMD z-score.

Conclusion. Long-term glucocorticoid therapy did not have negative effect on BMD of patients with CAH. Higher BMI z-score in patients with CAH may have a positive effect on preserving bone health. Precautions should be taken for increased risk of obesity. Keywords : congenital adrenal hyperplasia, bone mineral density, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan, body mass index

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