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Divergent Significance of Bone Mineral Density Changes in Aging Depending on Sites and Sex Revealed through Separate Analyses of Bone Mineral Content and Area

Journal of Osteoporosis
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Bone mineral density (aBMD) is equivalent to bone mineral content (BMC) divided by area. We rechecked the significance of aBMD changes in aging by examining BMC and area separately. Subjects were 1167 community-dwelling Japanese men and women, aged 40–79 years. ABMDs of femoral neck and lumbar spine were assessed by DXA twice, at 6-year intervals. The change rates of BMC and area, as well as aBMD, were calculated and described separately by the age stratum and by sex. In the femoral neck region, aBMDs were significantly decreased in all age strata by an increase in area as well as BMC loss in the same pattern in both sexes. In the lumbar spine region, aBMDs decreased until the age of 60 in women, caused by the significant BMC decrease accompanying the small area change. Very differently in men, aBMDs increased after their 50s due to BMC increase, accompanied by an area increase. Separate analyses of BMC and area change revealed that the significance of aBMD changes in aging was very divergent among sites and between sexes. This may explain in part the dissociation of aBMD change and bone strength, suggesting that we should be more cautious when interpreting the meaning of aBMD change.

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