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Self-Reported Loss of Consciousness After Head Trauma Does Not Predispose to Hypopituitarism in an Older Population

Rabelink, N.M. MD; Peeters, G.M.E.E. PhD; van Schoor, N.M. PhD; Drent, M.L. MD, PhD; Lips, P. MD, PhD

The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: January/February 2011 - Volume 26 - Issue 1 - p 90–97
doi: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e31820367b3
Focus on Clinical Research and Practice: Original Article

Objective: This population study examines the prevalence of hypopituitarism and low bone mineral density (BMD) in older persons reporting loss of consciousness after head trauma (HT).

Methods: Data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam were used pertaining to 630 women (53 HT) and 533 men (63 HT). Subjects were asked whether they had ever had an HT with loss of consciousness. Linear regression analysis (adjusted for age, body mass index, chronic diseases, smoking, alcohol use, and gender) was performed to examine the association between HT and serum anteriory pituitary hormone levels, BMD, and quantative ultrasound measurements.

Results: Serum follicle stimulating hormone was significantly higher in males in the HT group (P = .05) than in the non-HT group. This difference was not found in women (P = .25). No other differences were observed in serum hormone levels between subjects with and without HT (P > .30). Also, no significant differences between the HT and non-HT group were found in BMD and quantitative ultrasound measurements.

Conclusion: A self-reported history of HT with loss of consciousness does not seem to increase the risk of hypopituitarism and lower BMD in an aging population.

Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Endocrinology (Drs Rabelink, Drent, and Lips), and Department Epidemiology and Biostatistics, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research (Drs Peeters and van Schoor), VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Dr Peeters).

Corresponding Author: P. Lips, MD, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrine Section, VU University Medical Centre, Postbus 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, the Netherlands (

This study is based on data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) and is financially supported by the Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports. The authors thank Jan Poppelaars for his contribution to collecting the necessary data and sharing his knowledge of LASA.

There is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.