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Am J Kidney Dis. 1999 May;33(5):941-6.

Racial differences in bone mineral density and bone loss among end-stage renal disease patients.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Veterans Administration Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA, USA.


Although black patients without end-stage renal disease (ESRD) have a greater bone mineral density (BMD) than whites, the impact of race on BMD among patients with ESRD who are likely to have varying degrees of renal osteodystrophy is not known. We undertook a cohort study of 106 hemodialysis patients comparing BMD and bone loss between black and white patients with ESRD to determine if black patients have a greater BMD and less bone loss than white patients with ESRD. BMD was determined by dual-energy radiograph absorptiometry (DEXA). Osteopenia was defined as greater than 1 standard deviation (SD) less than the mean of peak bone mass (T score <-1), and osteoporosis was defined as greater than 2.5 SDs less than the mean of peak bone mass (T score <-2.5). The association between BMD and race was estimated using linear regression. The risk for osteopenia among black compared with white patients was calculated using logistic regression. Black patients were similar to white patients with respect to all characteristics noted, except black patients were less likely to be men (69.7% v 49. 4%) and tended to have greater intact parathyroid hormone (PTH) values (mean, 403.2 +/- 384.5 pg/mL v 161.4 +/- 129.0 pg/mL). Compared with whites, the BMD of blacks was a mean of 1.15 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54 to 1.78) SDs greater at the femoral neck after adjusting for age, PTH level, and sex. The percentage of bone loss per year was similar between blacks and whites. The risk for osteopenia among blacks was significantly less than that among whites (odds ratio = 0.15; 95% CI, 0.04 to 0.59) after adjusting for age, sex, and PTH level. Black patients with ESRD have a greater BMD and are at decreased risk for osteopenia compared with whites, independent of renal osteodystrophy. When considering bone disease among patients with ESRD, physicians should also consider osteoporosis and the impact of race on BMD.

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