Raised levels of parathyroid hormones (PTH) predispose to osteoporotic fracture particularly in the elderly. The true prevalence of primary or secondary hyperparathyroidism is unknown, as PTH evaluation is not performed as a screening test in the elderly. We report raised PTH levels in 27 of 190 (14.2%) community living fully mobile postmenopausal women with densitometrically established osteopenia, consuming an average of 645 (+/-191) mg of calcium per day. Twenty-five of the 27 women with raised PTH were normocalcaemic, hypercalcaemia been found only in two. Serum 25 hydroxy vitamin D levels were all within the normal range (above 22 nmol/l). Women with a raised PTH were significantly older and their serum 25 hydroxy vitamin D levels were significantly lower than those women with normal PTH values. These data suggest that in community leaving healthy postmenopausal women, normocalcaemic hyperparathyroidism, in the presence of what are still considered normal vitamin D levels, may be common. This may suggests that widespread supplementation with calcium and vitamin D may be required in postmenopausal women for PTH suppression and preservation of bone mass.