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Osteoporos Int. 2004 Jan;15(1):71-9. Epub 2003 Nov 4.

Establishment of BMD reference plots and determination of peak BMD at multiple skeletal regions in mainland Chinese women and the diagnosis of osteoporosis.

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  • 1Institute of Metabolism and Endocrinology, Second Xiang-Ya Hospital, Central South University, 86 Renmin-Zhong Road, 410011 Changsha, Hunan, China.


Osteoporosis is a major public health problem, particularly in women. Bone mineral density (BMD) reference plot is a basic, and the peak BMD (PBMD) an important, parameter in the diagnosis of osteoporosis. In order to establish reference plots of BMD at multiple skeletal sites in Chinese women and improve the diagnostic accuracy for osteoporosis, we measured BMDs at several skeletal regions in 3,378 Chinese women, aged 5-96 years, using a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry fan-beam bone densitometer. After determining that the cubic regression model best fit all skeletal regions, we utilized the curve-fitting to establish BMD reference plots and utilized the curve-fitting equation to calculate the highest BMDs at all skeletal regions using three different methods of calculation--actual PBMD (method A), PBMD of each 5-year age group (method B), and a cross-section of age (method C). When the three methods were compared, we found significant differences among them at the majority of skeletal regions studied. When we utilized these three methods to determine the prevalence of osteoporosis in 2,120 women aged 40 years and older, except for the Ward's triangle, we observed significant differences among them at all skeletal regions. In the present study, we established new BMD reference plots at multiple skeletal regions for women of mainland China. Our findings also indicate that curve-fitting equations can be employed to calculate actual PBMDs specific to individual regions, and that the use of different methods to calculate PBMD may have a significant impact on both PBMD and the diagnosis of osteoporosis. Therefore, we suggest that a standardized method be established to calculate site-specific PBMDs based on the peak values of best-fit reference curves in appropriate age groups.

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