Original Article

Osteoporosis International

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 295-300

First online:

Apparent bone mineral density estimated from DXA in healthy men and women

  • Selma CvijetićAffiliated withCenter for Osteoporosis, Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health Email author 
  • , Mirko KoršićAffiliated withDepartment of Endocrinology, Clinical Hospital Rebro

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The aim of this study was to measure bone mineral density (BMD) in healthy people and examine the influence of age, anthropometry, and postmenopause on calculated bone mineral apparent density (BMAD). The study included 541 healthy subjects (249 men and 292 women), aged 20 to 79 years. Anthropometric measurements included height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). Bone mineral content (BMC) and areal BMD were measured at the lumbar spine and proximal femur, using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The calculation of volumetric density relied on the formula BMAD=BMD/√BA (where BA = bone area). Association between densitometric parameters and age, height, weight, and postmenopause was analyzed with multiple regression. BMC and BMD decreased with age, especially in postmenopausal women. The average annual bone loss in spine was 0.2% in both sexes, whereas femur loss was 0.5% in men and 0.3% in women. Bone area slightly increased with age in both sexes, and BMD loss after the age of 50 could be attributed to bone area increase. To minimize the effect of bone size on bone density, volumetric density and areal density were regressed to age, anthropometry, and postmenopause. Age and postmenopause were significantly associated with BMD and BMAD in the spine and femur. Furthermore, BMD showed a stronger association with height and weight than BMAD, in both regions. Weaker association of body height and weight with BMAD than with BMD suggests that BMD depends on the bone size and body size and that the different BMDs could be the consequence of the difference in those parameters.


Age Anthropometry Bone mineral apparent density Bone mineral density Risk factors