ABSTRACT:The relationship between BMD and fracture risk was estimated in a meta-analysis of data from 12 cohort studies of ∼39,000 men and women. Low hip BMD was an important predictor of fracture risk. The prediction of hip fracture with hip BMD also depended on age and z score.Introduction: The aim of this study was to quantify the relationship between BMD and fracture risk and examine the effect of age, sex, time since measurement, and initial BMD value. Materials and Methods: We studied 9891 men and 29,082 women from 12 cohorts comprising EVOS/EPOS, EPIDOS, OFELY, CaMos, Rochester, Sheffield, Rotterdam, Kuopio, DOES, Hiroshima, and 2 cohorts from Gothenburg. Cohorts were followed for up to 16.3 years and a total of 168,366 person-years. The effect of BMD on fracture risk was examined using a Poisson model in each cohort and each sex separately. Results of the different studies were then merged using weighted coefficients. Results: BMD measurement at the femoral neck with DXA was a strong predictor of hip fractures both in men and women with a similar predictive ability. At the age of 65 years, risk ratio increased by 2.94 (95% CI ס 2.02-4.27) in men and by 2.88 (95% CI ס 2.31-3.59) in women for each SD decrease in BMD. However, the effect was dependent on age, with a significantly higher gradient of risk at age 50 years than at age 80 years. Although the gradient of hip fracture risk decreased with age, the absolute risk still rose markedly with age. For any fracture and for any osteoporotic fracture, the gradient of risk was lower than for hip fractures. At the age of 65 years, the risk of osteoporotic fractures increased in men by 1.41 per SD decrease in BMD (95% CI ס 1.33-1.51) and in women by 1.38 per SD (95% CI ס 1.28-1.48). In contrast with hip fracture risk, the gradient of risk increased with age. For the prediction of any osteoporotic fracture (and any fracture), there was a higher gradient of risk the lower the BMD. At a z score of -4 SD, the risk gradient was 2.10 per SD (95% CI ס 1.63-2.71) and at a z score of -1 SD, the risk was 1.73 per SD (95% CI ס 1.59-1.89) in men and women combined. A similar but less pronounced and nonsignificant effect was observed for hip fractures. Data for ultrasound and peripheral measurements were available from three cohorts. The predictive ability of these devices was somewhat less than that of DXA measurements at the femoral neck by age, sex, and BMD value. Conclusions: We conclude that BMD is a risk factor for fracture of substantial importance and is similar in both sexes. Its validation on an international basis permits its use in case finding strategies. Its use should, however, take account of the variations in predictive value with age and BMD.
The models developed provide the basis for the integrated use of validated clinical risk factors in men and women to aid in fracture risk prediction.
Here we review and extend a new unitary model for the pathophysiology of involutional osteoporosis that identifies estrogen (E) as the key hormone for maintaining bone mass and E deficiency as the major cause of age-related bone loss in both sexes. Also, both E and testosterone (T) are key regulators of skeletal growth and maturation, and E, together with GH and IGF-I, initiate a 3- to 4-yr pubertal growth spurt that doubles skeletal mass. Although E is required for the attainment of maximal peak bone mass in both sexes, the additional action of T on stimulating periosteal apposition accounts for the larger size and thicker cortices of the adult male skeleton. Aging women undergo two phases of bone loss, whereas aging men undergo only one. In women, the menopause initiates an accelerated phase of predominantly cancellous bone loss that declines rapidly over 4-8 yr to become asymptotic with a subsequent slow phase that continues indefinitely. The accelerated phase results from the loss of the direct restraining effects of E on bone turnover, an action mediated by E receptors in both osteoblasts and osteoclasts. In the ensuing slow phase, the rate of cancellous bone loss is reduced, but the rate of cortical bone loss is unchanged or increased. This phase is mediated largely by secondary hyperparathyroidism that results from the loss of E actions on extraskeletal calcium metabolism. The resultant external calcium losses increase the level of dietary calcium intake that is required to maintain bone balance. Impaired osteoblast function due to E deficiency, aging, or both also contributes to the slow phase of bone loss. Although both serum bioavailable (Bio) E and Bio T decline in aging men, Bio E is the major predictor of their bone loss. Thus, both sex steroids are important for developing peak bone mass, but E deficiency is the major determinant of age-related bone loss in both sexes.
In a population-based, cross-sectional study, we assessed age-and sex-specific changes in bone structure by QCT. Over life, the cross-sectional area of the vertebrae and proximal femur increased by ϳ15% in both sexes, whereas vBMD at these sites decreased by 39 -55% and 34 -46%, respectively, with greater decreases in women than in men.Introduction: The changes in bone structure and density with aging that lead to fragility fractures are still unclear. Materials and Methods: In an age-and sex-stratified population sample of 373 women and 323 men (age, 20 -97 years), we assessed bone geometry and volumetric BMD (vBMD) by QCT at the lumbar spine, femoral neck, distal radius, and distal tibia. Results: In young adulthood, men had 35-42% larger bone areas than women (p Ͻ 0.001), consistent with their larger body size. Bone area increased equally over life in both sexes by ϳ15% (p Ͻ 0.001) at central sites and by ϳ16% and slightly more in men at peripheral sites. Decreases in trabecular vBMD began before midlife and continued throughout life (p Ͻ 0.001), whereas cortical vBMD decreases began in midlife. Average decreases in trabecular vBMD were greater in women (Ϫ55%) than in men (Ϫ46%, p Ͻ 0.001) at central sites, but were similar (Ϫ24% and Ϫ26%, respectively) at peripheral sites. With aging, cortical area decreased slightly, and the cortex was displaced outwardly by periosteal and endocortical bone remodeling. Cortical vBMD decreased over life more in women (ϳ25%) than in men (ϳ18%, p Ͻ 0.001), consistent with menopausal-induced increases in bone turnover and bone porosity. Conclusions: Age-related changes in bone are complex. Some are beneficial to bone strength, such as periosteal apposition with outward cortical displacement. Others are deleterious, such as increased subendocortical resorption, increased cortical porosity, and, especially, large decreases in trabecular vBMD that may be the most important cause of increased skeletal fragility in the elderly. Our findings further suggest that the greater age-related decreases in trabecular and cortical vBMD and perhaps also their smaller bone size may explain, in large part, why fragility fractures are more common in elderly women than in elderly men.
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