Natural History and Correlates of Hip BMD Loss With Aging in Men of African Ancestry: The Tobago Bone Health Study


  • The authors state that they have no conflicts of interest

  • Published online on February 16, 2009


Little is known about the magnitude, pattern, and determinants of bone loss with advancing age among men, particularly among those of African descent. We examined the rate of decline in hip BMD and identified factors associated with BMD loss among 1478 Afro-Caribbean men ≥40 yr of age. BMD was measured at baseline and after an average of 4.4 yr by DXA. The rate of decline in femoral neck BMD was 0.29 ± 0.81%/yr in the total sample (p < 0.0001). However, a U-shaped relationship between advancing age and the rate of decline in BMD was observed. The rate of decline in BMD at the femoral neck was −0.38 ± 0.77%/yr among men 40–44 yr of age, decelerated to −0.15 ± 0.81%/yr among men 50–54 yr of age, and then accelerated to −0.52 ± 0.90%/yr among those 75+ yr of age (all p < 0.003). Men who lost ≥5% of their body weight during follow-up had significantly greater BMD loss than those who remained weight stable or gained weight (p < 0.0001). The relationship between weight loss and BMD loss was more pronounced among men who were older and leaner at study entry (p < 0.03). We also observed a strong impact of advanced prostate cancer and its treatment with androgen deprivation on BMD loss. Men of African ancestry experience substantial BMD loss with advancing age that seems to be comparable to the rate of loss among white men in other studies. Additional studies are needed to better define the natural history and factors underlying bone loss with aging in men of African ancestry.