, Volume 89, Issue 4, pp 303-311
Date: 29 Jul 2011

Poor Trabecular Microarchitecture in Male Current Smokers: The Cross-Sectional STRAMBO Study

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Current smoking (but not past smoking) is associated with higher risk of fracture independent of areal bone mineral density (aBMD); however, the pathophysiologic mechanism underlying this association is not clear. In 810 men aged 60–87, aBMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Bone microarchitecture at the distal radius and distal tibia was assessed by high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography using the Xtreme CT Scanco device. Current smokers (n = 47) had lower trabecular volumetric density (Dtrab), lower trabecular number (TbN), more heterogenous trabecular network (higher trabecular spacing standard deviation [TbSpSD]), as well as higher urinary deoxypyridinoline and higher C-reactive protein levels in comparison with 261 men who never smoked (adjusted for age, weight, height, time spent outdoors, physical activity, and intake of alcohol, caffeine, and calcium). Abnormal values (lower Dtrab and TbN, higher TbSpSD, deoxypyridinoline, and C-reactive protein) were found mainly in 21 current smokers who smoked eight or more cigarettes per day. Cortical parameters and aBMD did not differ from the never-smokers. In 502 former smokers, aBMD and all bone microarchitectural parameters did not differ from the never-smokers. At the tibia (not radius), Dtrab decreased, whereas TbSpSD slightly increased across quartiles of smoking intensity (number of pack-years). In conclusion, older men who are moderate current smokers have poor trabecular (but not cortical) microarchitecture, which is not reflected by a decrease in aBMD.

The authors have stated that they have no conflict of interest.