Sex steroid hormones are essential to normal skeletal growth and maintenance throughout life in both men and women. The importance of estrogens to bone health in women becomes obvious at menopause when estrogen deficiency occurs and results in accelerated bone loss. After menopause, estrogen deficiency results in drastic changes in the androgen-estrogen ratio. Thus, the relative importance of androgens after menopause may increase. Androgens also appear to be important for bone health in premenopausal women. Evidence from human, animal, and laboratory studies is leading to a better understanding of the effects of androgens on bone in women.
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