Protective Role of DHEAS in Age-related Changes in Bone Mass and Fracture Risk

Maki Yokomoto-Umakoshi, Hironobu Umakoshi, Norifusa Iwahashi, Yayoi Matsuda, Hiroki Kaneko, Masatoshi Ogata, Tazuru Fukumoto, Eriko Terada, Yui Nakano, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yoshihiro Ogawa

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) from the adrenal cortex substantially decreases with age, which may accelerate osteoporosis. However, the association of DHEAS with bone mineral density (BMD) and fracture is inconclusive. We conducted a Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis to investigate the role of DHEAS in age-related changes in BMD and fracture risk. Methods: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with serum DHEAS concentrations were used as instrumental variables (4 SNPs for main analysis; 4 SNPs for men and 5 SNPs for women in sex-related analysis). Summary statistics were obtained from relevant genome-wide association studies. Results: A log-transformed unit (μmol/L) increase in serum DHEAS concentrations was associated with an SD increase in estimated BMD at the heel (estimate, 0.120; 95% CI, 0.081-0.158; P = 9 × 10-10), and decreased fracture (odds ratio, 0.989; 95% CI, 0.981-0.996; P = 0.005), consistent with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-derived BMD at the femoral neck and lumbar spine. Their associations remained even after adjusting for height, body mass index, testosterone, estradiol, sex hormone-binding globulin, and insulin-like growth factor 1. The association of DHEAS with fracture remained after adjusting for falls, grip strength, and physical activity but was attenuated after adjusting for BMD. The MR-Bayesian model averaging analysis showed BMD was the top mediating factor for association of DHEAS with fracture. The association between DHEAS and BMD was observed in men but not in women. Conclusion: DHEAS was associated with increased BMD and decreased fracture. DHEAS may play a protective role in decreasing fracture risk, mainly by increasing bone mass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E4580-E4592
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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