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The aluminum content of bone increases with age, but is not higher in hip fracture cases with and without dementia compered to controls
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences.
2005 (English)In: Osteoporosis International, ISSN 0937-941X, Vol. 16, no 12, 1982-1988 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aluminum is considered a potentially toxic metal, and aluminum poisoning may lead to three types of disorders: aluminum-induced bone disease, microcytic anemia and encephalopathy. This is well known in patients with chronic renal failure, but since healthy subjects with normal renal function retain 4% of the aluminum consumed, they are also at risk of long-term low-grade aluminum intoxication. Included in this study were a total of 172 patients (age range 16-98 years) with the aim of examining whether aluminum accumulates in bone with increasing age. Additionally, we aimed to investigate whether the aluminum content of bone differs between controls and hip fracture cases with and without dementia, in particular in those with Alzheimer's disease. During operations for all cases, bone biopsies were taken with an aluminum-free instrument from the trabecular bone. The samples were measured for their content of aluminum using an inductively coupled mass spectrometer. We found an exponential increase in aluminum content of bone with age. The average aluminum values, adjusted for age, were similar in men and women (P=0.46). No significant differences in sex- and age-adjusted mean aluminum values between the controls and the hip fracture cases with (P=0.72) and without (P=0.33) dementia could be detected. The average aluminum concentration among cases with Alzheimer's disease was also similar to the values of hip fracture patients with other types of dementia (P=0.47). Odds ratios of hip fracture for each quartile of aluminum content in bone were also estimated to detect non-linear effects, but we did not find any statistically significant association remaining after age and sex adjustment. Thus, our results indicate that we accumulate aluminum in bone over our life span, but this does not seem to be of major pathogenetic significance for the occurrence of hip fracture or dementia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 16, no 12, 1982-1988 p.
Keyword [en]
Aluminum, Alzheimers disease, Dementia, Hip fracture, Osteoporosis
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96128DOI: 10.1007/s00198-005-1981-6PubMedID: 16047227OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-96128DiVA: diva2:170601
Available from: 2007-09-07 Created: 2007-09-07 Last updated: 2009-10-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Bone and Aluminium
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bone and Aluminium
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Osteoporosis is a major health care problem, by reason of its devastating consequences, in particular hip fractures. Worldwide it has been estimated that the incidence of hip fracture will increase to more than 6 million per year by 2050 compared to 1.7 million per year in 1990. Osteoporosis can be caused by various factors namely, genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors, and since the rising incidence of its consequences is not fully explained by the growing age of the population, there is an urgent need to identify individual causal factors of this condition.

The present research has focused on aluminium, one potential environmental factor of importance for bone disease, and its possible relation to osteoporosis, since it is known to cause osteoporosis-like bone disease and has been associated with induction of progressive central nervous system diseases.

Aluminium is the third most common element in the earth’s crust and the most abundant metal (8%). It is widely utilized industrially and it is also naturally present in many foods. Although aluminium is ubiquitous in the human environment, evolution has not given it an essential biological function.

The aluminium content of bone was measured by inductively coupled mass spectrometry in a large group of patients suffering from hip fractures, high energy fractures and osteoarthrosis. An exponential increase in aluminium content of bone with age was found (p=0.0004). However, no significant association of aluminium in bone with occurrence of hip fracture or dementia could be found, and no indirect evidence was obtained, e.g. through bone mineral density or biomechanical properties, that aluminium is involved in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. Although we accumulate aluminium in bone throughout our lives, and there are experimental suggestions that aluminium induces premature cell death, the body content of this metal does not seem to influence the overall mortality risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2007. 86 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 271
Surgery, Aluminium, Osteoporosis, Hip fracture, Osteoporotic fracture, Alzheimer´s dementia, Bone mineral density, Bone mineral content, Mortality risk, Biomechanics, Inductively coupled mass spectrometry, Kirurgi
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8181 (URN)978-91-554-6951-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-09-28, Rosénsalen, Ingång 95/96, Akademiska sjukhuset (Barnsjukhuset), 751 85 Uppsala, Uppsala, 09:15
Available from: 2007-09-07 Created: 2007-09-07Bibliographically approved

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