Demonstration of a lack of racial difference in secretion of growth hormone despite a racial difference in bone mineral density in premenopausal women - A Clinical Research Center study

Nancy M. Wright, Nick Papadea, Steven Willi, Johannes D Veldhuis, Janardan P. Pandey, L. Lyndon Key, Norman H. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


We previously found GH secretion to be higher in black than white men. Therefore, we performed studies to determine whether this racial difference in GH secretion also occurs in women. Measurements of GH were obtained at 20- min intervals over 24 h and analyzed by deconvolution in 12 healthy black and 12 healthy white premenopausal women. Bone mineral density (BMD) was determined by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and GM allotypes were measured as a genetic marker for race. Racial distribution of the groups, as determined by analysis of GM haplotypes, were typical for black and white American populations. Twenty-four-hour integrated GH concentration, GH secretory burst amplitude, burst frequency, half-duration, mass, and half- life were not different in the two groups. Serum testosterone was modestly, but significantly, greater in the black than in the white women (1.1 ± 0.1 vs. 0.9 ± 0.1 nmol/L; P < 0.05). Serum 17β-estradiol and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-binding protein-3 were not different in the two groups. However, the IGF-I/IGF-binding protein-3 molar ratio was significantly greater in the black than the white women (2.0 ± 0.1 vs. 1.6 ± 0.1; P < 0.02). The BMD of total body (1.12 ± 0.02 vs. 1.07 ± 0.02 g/cm2; P < 0.05) and total hip (0.96 ± 0.04 vs. 0.86 ± 0.04 g/cm2; P < 0.05) were greater in the black (n = 13) than in the white (n = 12) women. There was a trend toward greater BMD of the forearm in the black women (0.58 ± 0.01 vs. 0.56 ± 0.01 g/cm2; P = 0.06) and no racial difference in the BMD of the spine. When examining all subjects together, the BMD of the total body, trochanter, and spine correlated with total integrated GH secretion. Thus, the racial difference in GH secretion that we had previously found in men does not occur in women despite the higher BMD values at several skeletal sites in black women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1026
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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