Differential changes in regional bone mineral density in healthy chinese: Age-related and sex-dependent

W. J. Yao, C. H. Wu, S. T. Wang, C. J. Chang, N. T. Chiu, C. Y. Yu

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38 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate the pattern of age-related and sex-dependent bone mineral density (BMD) changes in the six skeletal regions in healthy Chinese, total-body and regional BMD were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in 310 women and 387 men aged 20-80 years. In women, a five-phase change was discernible in the axial bones: (1) gradual bone increase from 20-29 years old to maximal BMD at 35-39 years old; (2) maintenance of this level from 35-39 to 40-44; (3) a mild bone decrease from 40-44 to 45-49; (4) a rapid bone decrease from 45-49 to 55-59; and (5) a decelerated bone decrease after 55-59 years old. After validation of menopause status, the decrease of BMD in the late 40s became insignificant in pre-menopausal women. In appendicular bones, no obvious peak was observed, and significant bone decrease started at 50-54 years old. The overall bone decrease from 35-39 to 70-80 years old was 19.3% for the total body, 16.4% for the head, 29% for the spine, 23% for the pelvis, 18.2% for the ribs, 23.9% for the arms, and 20.4% for the legs. In men, the maximal bone mass was attained at 30-34 and 35-39 years old for axial and appendicular bones, respectively. The age-related bone decrease in the skeletal regions was small, except from 60-64 to 65-69 years old. The overall bone decrease in each region from maximal bone mass to 70-80 years old was 6.7% for the total body, 1.7% for the head, 7.6% for the spine, 11.3% for the pelvis, 9.5% for the ribs, 7.8% for the arms, and 10.4% for the legs. The overall magnitude of reduction in total-body BMD in women was about three times greater than that in men. The pattern of BMD changes differs in each region and is age-related as well as sex-dependent. There appeared to be no significant premenopausal bone decrease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-336
Number of pages7
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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