1. Plasma androstenedione, plasma oestrone and the conversion of plasma androstenedione into oestrone were measured in 19 post-menopausal women without fractures (six of them oophorectomized) and 18 with vertebral or femoral neck fractures (four of them oophorectomized).
2. In the series as a whole, the main determinant of the plasma oestrone level was the plasma androstenedione concentration. Only in the small oophorectomized group did the variation in conversion rate make a significant contribution to the variation in plasma oestrone.
3. The conversion rates were not different as between non-fracture and fracture cases but the mean plasma androstenedione and oestrone concentrations were lower (though not significantly) in the latter.
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© 1978 The Biochemical Society and the Medical Research Society