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Analysis of the independent power of age-related, anthropometric and mechanical factors as determinants of the structure of radius and tibia in normal adults. A pQCT study.

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Center of P-Ca Metabolism Studies (CEMFoC), National University of Rosario (UNR), Argentine.


To compare the independent influence of mechanical and non-mechanical factors on bone features, multiple regression analyses were performed between pQCT indicators of radius and tibia bone mass, mineralization, design and strength as determined variables, and age or time since menopause (TMP), body mass, bone length and regional muscles' areas as selected determinant factors, in Caucasian, physically active, untrained healthy men and pre- and post-menopausal women. In men and pre-menopausal women, the strongest influences were exerted by muscle area on radial features and by both muscle area and bone length on the tibia. Only for women, was body mass a significant factor for tibia traits. In men and pre-menopausal women, mass/design/strength indicators depended more strongly on the selected determinants than the cortical vBMD did (p<0.01-0.001 vs n.s.), regardless of age. However, TMP was an additional factor for both bones (p<0.01-0.001). The selected mechanical factors (muscle size, bone lengths) were more relevant than age/TMP or body weight to the development of allometrically-related bone properties (mass/design/strength), yet not to bone tissue 'quality' (cortical vBMD), suggesting a determinant, rather than determined role for cortical stiffness. While the mechanical impacts of muscles and bone levers on bone structure were comparable in men and pre-menopausal women, TMP exerted a stronger impact than allometric or mechanical factors on bone properties, including cortical vBMD.

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