, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 1001-1006
Date: 29 Apr 2011

Predictive values of calcaneal quantitative ultrasound and dual energy X ray absorptiometry for non-vertebral fracture in older men: results from the MrOS study (Hong Kong)

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Calcaneal QUS is comparable to DXA in predicting non-vertebral fractures in older Chinese men.


The predictive values of calcaneal quantitative ultrasound (QUS) and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for non-vertebral fractures in older Chinese men were examined.


One thousand nine hundred twenty-one Chinese men aged 65–92 years had calcaneal QUS and axial DXA bone mineral density (BMD) measurements. The incidence of non-vertebral fractures was documented. Cox regression and receiver operating curve (ROC) analysis were used to examine the associations of QUS parameters and BMD with the incidence of non-vertebral fractures.


The duration of follow-up was (mean±SD) 6.5 ± 1.7 years. One hundred thirty-one non-vertebral fractures were recorded, 71 of which were major fragility fractures. Broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) and quantitative ultrasound index (QUI) were significantly associated with non-vertebral fractures and major fragility fractures, with age and fracture history-adjusted hazard ratio (95% CI) of 1.23 (1.03, 1.47) and 1.32 (1.10, 1.59) per standard deviation reduction, respectively, for non-vertebral fractures; 1.32 (1.04, 1.68) and 1.43 (1.11, 1.84), respectively, for major fragility fractures. Age and fracture history-adjusted areas under ROC curves of hip or spine BMDs were significantly greater than that of BUA or QUI in predicting major fragility fractures, but not in predicting all non-vertebral fractures. The addition of BUA or QUI had no effect on AUCs of total hip BMD alone.


The ability of calcaneal QUS to predict non-vertebral fractures was comparable to that of axial BMD by DXA, but was inferior to BMD in predicting major fragility fractures in older Chinese men.