Quantitative ultrasound of bone and calcium intake in suburban males in Sri Lanka



    1. Sri Lankan Twin Registry, Institute for Research & Development, Battaramulla 10120,
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  • Y. KOVAS,

    1. Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths College, University of London Goldsmiths, New Cross, SE14 6NW and
    2. SGDP, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, De Crespigny Park, London, SE5 1AF, United Kindom
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    1. Division of Clinical Sciences, Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine, Kings Mill Hospital, University of Sheffield, Sutton in Ashfield NG 17 4JL,
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: S. H. Siribaddana, Project Leader Sri Lankan Twin Registry, Institute for Research & Development, 762/4B, Pannipitiya Road, Battaramulla 10120. Email: nipuna@stmail.lk


Background:   While only 30% of all hip fractures occurred in Asia in 1990, more than 50% will occur by the year 2050. We investigated the relationship between the Stiffness Index (SI), assessed with quantitative ultrasound, and calcium intake in a cross-sectional survey of suburban males of different ages.

Methods:   From 496 people who were invited, 274 participated (55%). A single operator performed quantitative ultrasound measurements at the right calcaneus using Lunar Achilles. We derived the Sri Lankan T-score values for SI. Calcium intake was measured using semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire to measure the previous 7 days intake.

Results:   There was gradual decrease in mean SI from the age of 30 years. Eighty percent of the men between 21–40 years had normal T-scores. This percentage value fell to high 60s in men between 41–70 years. After 71 years, 35% had normal T-scores and 30% had T-scores less than –2.5. The mean calcium intake was 197 mg/day (95% CI 187–287 mg).

Conclusions:   This is the first population-based study done in Sri Lanka regarding calcium intake and SI in males. Although few men had low T-scores according to SI after 40 years, bone health of elderly (after 71 years) is at risk levels. The overall prevalence of low SI was negligible (4%) even with low calcium intake. Age is the only factor that influenced SI.