, Volume 13, Issue 10, pp 803-808

Bone Loss at the Lumbar Spine and the Proximal Femur in a Rural Japanese Community, 1990–2000: The Miyama Study

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Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured over a ten year period in a cohort study in Miyama village, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, to provide information on rate of bone loss in the mature and elderly population. Four hundred subjects were selected by sex and age decade from the full list of residents born in 1910–1949, and aged 40–79 years at the end of 1989, with 50 men and 50 women in each age decade. Baseline BMD of the lumbar spine and the proximal femur was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in 1990 and again in 1993, 1997 and 2000. Annual rate of change in BMD (% per year) in the lumbar spine in men in their forties, fifties, sixties and seventies was 0.17, 0.55, 0.01 and −0.16, respectively, and in women, −0.87, −0.83, −0.48 and −0.48, respectively. Thus in men, BMD at the lumbar spine increased in all age strata but the oldest, when it decreased, whereas in women, it decreased in all age strata. On the other hand, BMD at the proximal femur decreased in both sexes in all age strata. Our results show that bone loss rates differ depending on the site involved, demonstrating that different strategies are needed for the prevention of bone loss in the spine and hip.

 Furthermore, we found evidence of differences in BMD for given age strata between birth cohorts. Data in 1990 and in 2000 showed significant improvements for men in their sixties and for women in their fifties, suggesting that future problems of osteoporosis might be less severe than has previously been predicted in Japan.

Received: 11 January 2002 / Accepted: 22 April 2002