Title

Race and Sex Differences in Bone Mineral Density and Geometry at the Femur

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-2009

Abstract

Introduction: Differences in osteoporotic hip fracture incidence between American whites and blacks and between women and men are considered to result, in part, from differences in bone mineral density and geometry at the femur. The aim of this study was to quantify differences in femoral bone density and geometry between a large sample of healthy American white and black women and men.

Subjects and methods: Healthy American white (n = 612) and black (n = 164) premenopausal women, aged 23 to 57 years, and healthy American white (n = 492) and black (n = 169) men, aged 20 to 63 years, had volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) and geometry variables measured at the femur by computerized tomography (CT), and areal bone mineral density (aBMD) at femoral neck measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

Results: American blacks had higher vBMD at the femoral neck and femoral shaft cortex than American whites whereas femoral axis length and femoral neck area were not different. Men had lower vBMD at the femoral neck and femoral cortex than women but had greater femoral axis length and femoral neck area than women. The higher aBMD in American blacks than whites persisted after correction for measured area whereas the higher aBMD in men than women disappeared.

Conclusions: At the femoral neck, American whites have lower bone density than American blacks but similar geometry. Women have higher bone density than men in both races but have smaller geometry variables. The differences in bone density may account in part for the differences in hip fracture incidence between American blacks and whites, whereas the differences in femur size may account for the differences in hip fracture rates between men and women.

DOI

10.1016/j.bone.2009.04.236