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J Korean Med Sci. 2005 Dec;20(6):1011-6.

Quantitative ultrasound of the calcaneus in a Korean population: reference data and relationship to bone mineral density determined by peripheral dual X-ray absorptiometry.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Seonam University College of Medicine, Namwon, Korea.


The aim of this study was to establish reference data for the quantitative ultrasound (QUS) of the calcaneus and for the bone mineral densities (BMD) of the calcaneus and distal forearm, and to evaluate the correlation between QUS parameters and BMD in a Korean population. We performed a cross-sectional study involving 3,053 subjects (1,225 men and 1,828 women). QUS was conducted on the calcaneus and was quantified as speed of sound (SOS, m/sec), broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA, dB/MHz), and stiffness index. The BMD of the calcaneus and distal forearm were measured using dual X-ray absorptiometry. The peak mean values for the QUS parameters occurred in the 20 to 29-yr-old subjects of both sexes, with the exception of the BUA, which reached the highest values in women of 30-39 yr. For both sexes, the mean BMD of the calcaneus was highest in those 20-29 yr old and that of the distal forearm was highest in those 40-49 yr old. The correlations between the QUS and BMD results were found to be 0.41 to 0.73 in men and 0.51 to 0.76 in women. Theses data can serve as a reference values for both sexes in Korea.

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