The murine arachidonate 15-lipoxygenase gene (Alox15) has recently been identified as a negative regulator of peak bone mineral density (BMD). The human ALOX15 gene shares significant sequence homology with the murine Alox15 gene; however, the human arachidonate 12-lipoxygenase gene (ALOX12) is functionally more similar to the mouse gene. Multiple single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the human ALOX15 and ALOX12 genes have previously been reported to be significantly associated with BMD in humans. On the basis of these data, we carried out our own investigation of the human ALOX15 and ALOX12 genes and their relationship with hip and spine BMD parameters. The study population consisted of 779 postmenopausal women with a mean (+/- standard deviation) age of 62.5 +/- 5.9 years at BMD measurement and was recruited from a single large general practice in Chingford, northeast London. Three SNPs from ALOX15 and five from ALOX12 were analyzed. None of the SNPs that we analyzed in ALOX15 were significantly associated with any of the BMD parameters or fracture data. However, we found that three SNPs from ALOX12, all previously associated with spine BMD in women, were significantly associated with spine and various hip BMD parameters in our cohort (P = 0.029-0.049). In conclusion, we found no association between polymorphism in ALOX15 and BMD phenotypes but were able to replicate previous findings that genetic variation in ALOX12 seems to play a role in determining bone structure in Caucasian women.