Determinants of Bone Loss from the Femoral Neck in Women of Different Ages

Authors

  • L. Joseph Melton III,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.A.
    • Address reprint requests to: Dr. L. Joseph Melton III Section of Clinical Epidemiology Department of Health Sciences Research Mayo Clinic 200 First Street Southwest Rochester, MN 55905, U.S.A.
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  • Elizabeth J. Atkinson,

    1. Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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  • Michael K. O'Connor,

    1. Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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  • W. Michael O'Fallon,

    1. Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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  • B. Lawrence Riggs

    1. Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, Nutrition, and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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Abstract

An age-stratified sample of 304 women from Rochester, Minnesota, aged 30–94 years (median 60 years) at baseline underwent measurement of femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) over a follow-up period extending to 16 years. The average rate of change in femoral neck BMD was −1.0% per year (range −10.0% to +13.4%) and did not vary significantly with age. Because there was no marked increase in the rate of loss around the time of menopause, nor convincing evidence of there being a subset of fast losers, there was fairly good tracking of individual values over time; the correlation of baseline with femoral neck BMD values 16 years later was 0.83. Although a large number of potential determinants was assessed, the only consistent predictor of femoral neck bone loss in women of different ages was baseline femoral neck BMD (r = −0.15; p = 0.023). Otherwise, different sets of risk factors were identified for premenopausal women, women within 20 years of menopause, and women 20 years or more postmenopausal, but the predictive power of these different multivariate models was modest. Nonetheless, these data indicate that femoral neck BMD is quite predictable for extended periods of time. This is reassuring with respect to the use of statistical models that incorporate such data to estimate future fracture risk.

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