Osteoporosis International

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 100–104

Calcaneal ultrasound attenuation in older African-American and Caucasian-American women

  • J. A. Cauley
  • M. E. Danielson
  • E. W. Gregg
  • M. T. Vogt
  • J. Zmuda
  • D. C. Bauer
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF01623683

Cite this article as:
Cauley, J.A., Danielson, M.E., Gregg, E.W. et al. Osteoporosis Int (1997) 7: 100. doi:10.1007/BF01623683

Abstract

The lower fracture rates among African-American women relative to Caucasian women may reflect their higher bone mass. However, bone mass is not the only determinant of bone strength: the quality and microarchitecture of the bone are also important. Quantitative ultrasound is believed to measure properties of bone strength that are independent of bone mass. To test the hypothesis that there are racial differences in quantitative ultrasound measures of bone, we recruited 154 African-American women age ⩾65 years. A random sample of 300 Caucasian women participating in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was chosen for comparison. The Walker Sonix UBA 575+ was used to measure calcaneal broadband ultrasonic attenuation (BUA). Duplicate BUA measurements were obtained with a reproducibility of 5%. We measured bone mineral density (BMD) of the hip and calcaneus using single (calcaneus) or dual (hip) energy X-ray absorptiometry. The correlation between BUA and calcaneal BMD was similar in Caucasians (r=0.66,p<0.001) and African-Americans (r=0.58,p<0.001). Age-adjusted BUA (dB/MHz) was higher among the African-American women than Caucasian women (69.1 and 66.2, respectively), but these differences were not statistically significant, (p=0.12). Adjustment for calcaneal BMD completely attenuated the racial differences in BUA. BMD at the femoral neck and calcaneus was higher among the African-American women, even after adjusting for age, height and weight. In conclusion, our results suggest that racial differences in rates of fracture cannot be explained by differences in bone quality as assessed by ultrasound attenuation.

Keywords

Bone ultrasoundOsteoporosis fracturesRaceEthnicity

Copyright information

© European Foundation for Osteoporosis and the National Osteoporosis Foundation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Cauley
    • 1
  • M. E. Danielson
    • 1
  • E. W. Gregg
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. T. Vogt
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. Zmuda
    • 1
  • D. C. Bauer
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public HealthPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Primary Care Internal MedicineUniversity of VermontBurlington
  3. 3.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryUniversity of Pittsburgh, School of MedicinePittsburgh
  4. 4.Department of Biostatistics and EpidemiologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA