, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 771-777
Date: 02 Feb 2007

Quantitative ultrasound predicts hip and non-spine fracture in men: the MrOS study

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Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) is associated with fracture risk in women, but there are few data in men. We studied 5,607 older men and found that QUS predicts hip and any non-spine fracture risk nearly as well as BMD. Combined measurements of QUS and BMD are not superior to either measurement alone.


Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) predicts fracture risk among older women, but there are few prospective studies among older men. We studied the ability of QUS and BMD measurements to predict hip and other non-spine fractures in a population-based study of older men.


Calcaneal QUS and hip BMD were measured in 5,607 men aged ≥65 years recruited from six US centers. At baseline duplicate QUS measurements with repositioning were obtained, and subsequent hip and other non-spine fractures were documented by review of x-rays or x-ray reports. The relationships between QUS and fractures were examined with proportional hazard models adjusted for age and clinic. We used receiver operating characteristic curves and predicted fracture risk models to determine the utility of QUS alone, BMD alone or the combination of QUS+BMD.


During a mean follow-up of 4.2 years with 99% complete follow-up, 239 men suffered a non-spine fracture, including 49 hip fractures. Each standard deviation reduction in broadband ultrasonic attenuation (BUA) was associated with an increased risk of hip (relative hazard=2.0, CI: 1.5, 2.8) and any non-spine fracture (relative hazard=1.6, CI: 1.4, 1.8). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve and the predicted probability of fracture were similar for BUA alone, BMD alone and the combination of BUA+BMD, indicating that once BUA or BMD is known, the other measurement does not add useful information. Other QUS parameters gave similar results.


QUS measurements predict the risk of hip and any non-spine fracture in older men, and do so nearly as well as hip BMD measurements. Combined measurements of QUS and BMD are not superior to either measurement alone.

Funding: The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study is supported by National Institutes of Health funding. The following institutes provide support: the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), under the following grant numbers: UO1 AG18197-02, UO1 AR45580-02, UO1 AR45614, UO1 AR45632, UO1 AR45647, UO1 AR45654, UO1 AR45583 and M01 RR00334.