, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 249-252

The peak bone mass of Hawaiian, Filipino, Japanese, and white women living in Hawaii

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Abstract

Our study compares the bone mass of Hawaiian, Filipino, Japanese, and white women living in Oahu, Hawaii. Eligible women ranged in age from 25 to 34; all had bone mass measurements at the spine, calcaneus, and proximal and distal radius. Their average bone mineral density (BMD) remained stable with age at all four bone sites, indicating that the age range 25–34 may represent the peak bone mass. Bone mass varied, however, between ethnicities; differences in BMD up to 11% were observed. The Hawaiian women had the greatest BMD, and whites had the second greatest BMD at the spine and calcaneus. The Japanese most frequently had the lowest BMD. Differences in body size partly explained the differences; most ethnic differences were reduced or eliminated after adjusting for height and weight. At the spine, the ethnic differences for BMD were also apparent with BMC and with vertebral area. Hawaiian and white women had greater values than Japanese or Filipino women. Differences at the proximal radius resembled the spine, except that whites had the widest proximal widths. The results were more complex for the distal radius. At the distal radius whites had the lowest BMD of the four ethic groups. The difference between whites and Hawaiians derived from the greater bone mineral content (BMC) of the Hawaiian women. By contrast, the difference between whites and the Japanese and Filipinos derived from the wider distal widths of the white women. Compared with the Japanese and Filipino women, the white women appeared to disperse their BMC at the distal radius across a wider bone width. Such differences in bone distributions might lead to an altered risk of distal radius (wrist) fractures. Within ethnicities there was marked variation among individuals in bone mass. At the extremes, women differed by 50–100% or more within all four ethnic groups.