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Calcif Tissue Int. 1997 Feb;60(2):164-70.

Factors associated with cortical and trabecular bone loss as quantified by peripheral computed tomography (pQCT) at the ultradistal radius in aging women.

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  • 1Arthritis and Metabolic Bone Disease Research Unit, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.


Peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) allows the separate determination of cortical and trabecular bone mineral density in the peripheral skeleton. This cross-sectional study was designed to examine the effects of healthy aging on pQCT measurements at the ultradistal radius. In a well-defined sample of 129 community-based women, aged 70-87 years, the differences in cortical and trabecular density over the age range were equivalent to losses of -0.41% and -0.65% per year, respectively. To investigate the mechanism of this age-related decline, we assessed relationships between both parameters and height, weight, body mass index, dietary calcium intake, grip strength, and serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), calcidiol (25(OH)D3), calcitriol (1,25(OH)2D3), parathyroid hormone (PTH), and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Multiple regression was used to adjust for potential confounders. Age was not significant after controlling for other covariables. Body mass index, grip strength, serum IGF-I, 25(OH)D3, and PTH (1-84) were found to be independent predictors of total bone density. Including (total or free) 1,25(OH)2D3 did not improve the model precision. These findings provide evidence that, among other factors, the activity of the growth hormone-IGF-I-axis is of importance for skeletal integrity. Grip strength, serum IGF-I, and PTH (1-84) were discovered to be significantly related to cortical but not to trabecular density, suggesting that different mechanisms may be involved in compact and cancellous bone loss.

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