Older black men have higher adjusted BMD than older white men. Using data from a longitudinal cohort study of older men followed for a mean of 18.8 ± 6.5 (SD) months, we found that older black men have a higher rate of decline in femoral neck and total hip BMD and femoral neck BMAD than older white men.
Introduction: Older black men have higher adjusted BMD compared with older white men. The difference in BMD may be caused by having attained higher peak bone mass as young adults and/or having a slower rate of decline in bone mass as adults. There are few published longitudinal data on change in bone mass in older white men and no published data for older black men.
Materials and Methods: Three hundred forty-nine white men and 119 black men ⩾65 of age (mean age, 75 ± 5.7 and 72 ± 5.6 years, respectively) who participated in the longitudinal component of the Baltimore Men's Osteoporosis Study returned for a second visit after a mean of 18.8 ± 6.5 (SD) months and were not taking medications used to treat low bone mass at either visit. BMD was measured at the femoral neck and total hip by Hologic-certified technicians using a QDR 2000 at the baseline visit (V1) and QDR 4500 at the first follow-up visit (V2). Participants also completed self-administered and interviewer-administered questionnaires and underwent standardized clinic examinations. Bone mineral apparent density (BMAD) at the femoral neck was calculated as an estimate of volumetric BMD. Annual crude and multiple variable adjusted percent changes in BMD and BMAD were calculated.
Results: In univariate analyses, black men had lower percent decline in femoral neck and total hip BMD and femoral neck BMAD than white men. In addition, older age at baseline, lower baseline weight, current smoking, and lower baseline BMD were associated with greater percent decline per year in femoral neck BMD; older age at baseline, current smoking, and lower baseline BMD were associated with greater percent decline per year in total hip BMD; and older age at baseline and lower baseline femoral neck BMAD were associated with greater percent decline per year in femoral neck BMAD. Racial differences in bone loss persisted in multiple variable models that controlled for other factors associated with change in BMD and BMAD.
Conclusions: Older black men seem to lose bone mass at a slower rate than older white men. These differences in the rate of bone loss may account, in part, for the racial disparities in BMD and BMAD and risk of osteoporotic fractures among older men.