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Am J Clin Nutr. 1979 Mar;32(3):540-9.

Bone status and fracture rates in two regions of Yugoslavia.


Bone status and fracture rates were evaluated in two Yugoslav populations with very different dietary habits. In district A (Podravina) the daily calcium intake was about twice that in district B (Istra). There were similar but smaller differences in the intakes of other nutrients. In district B metacarpal cortical width was reduced in all age groups of both sexes but the difference tended to decrease with age. The proximal femur fracture rate was higher in district B than district A but there was no difference between the forearm fracture rates in the two districts. Our results confirm that bone mass at any age is clearly the result of age and sex and most probably other genetically determined factors but also show that this expression is nutrition related. The data suggest that nutrition (in particular the calcium intake) is an important determinant of bone mass in young adults but seems to have little effect on age-related bone loss in either males or females. The main determinant of cortical bone mass in the elderly seems to be the cortical bone mass in middle life. The proximal femur fractures of old people reflect declining cortical bone mass but the distal forearm fractures of middle-aged women are unrelated to cortical bone mass or nutritional status.

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