AT ENDO 2016
BOSTON (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – Anti-Müllerian hormone levels strongly predict the rate of perimenopausal loss of bone mineral density and might help identify women who need early intervention to prevent future osteoporotic fractures, according to data from a review of 474 perimenopausal women that was presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.
The team matched anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels and bone mineral density (BMD) measurements taken 2-4 years before the final menstrual period to BMD measurements taken 3 years later. The women were part of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation ( SWAN ), an ongoing multicenter study of women during their middle years.
When perimenopausal AMH “goes below 250 pg/mL, you are beginning to lose bone, and, when it goes below 200 pg/mL, you are losing bone fast, so that’s when you might want to intervene.” The finding “opens up the possibility of identifying women who are going to lose the most bone mass during the transition and targeting them before they have lost a substantial amount,” said lead investigator Dr. Arun Karlamangla of the department of geriatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles.
BMD loss is normal during menopause but rates of decline vary among women. AMH is a product of ovarian granulosa cells commonly used in fertility clinics to gauge ovarian reserve, but AMH levels also decline during menopause, and in a fairly stable fashion, he explained.
The women in SWAN were 42-52 years old at baseline with an intact uterus, at least one ovary, and no use of exogenous hormones. Blood was drawn during the early follicular phase of the menstrual cycle.
The median rate of BMD decline was 1.26% per year in the lumbar spine and 1.03% per year in the femoral neck. The median AMH was 49 pg/mL but varied widely.
Adjusted for age, body mass index, smoking, race, and study site, the team found that for each 75% (or fourfold) decrement in AMH level, there was a 0.15% per year faster decline in spine BMD and 0.13% per year faster decline in femoral neck BMD. Each fourfold decrement was also associated with an 18% increase in the odds of faster than median decline in spine BMD and 17% increase in the odds of faster than median decline in femoral neck BMD. The fast losers lost more than 2% of their BMD per year in both the lumbar spine and femoral neck.
The results were the same after adjustment for follicle-stimulating hormone and estrogen levels, “so AMH provides information that cannot be obtained from estrogen and FSH,” Dr. Karlamangla said.
He cautioned that the technique needs further development and validation before it’s ready for the clinic. The team used the PicoAMH test from Ansh Labs in Webster, Tex.
The investigators had no disclosures. Ansh provided the assays for free. SWAN is funded by the National Institutes of Health.