Clinical Investigations

Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 58, Issue 5, pp 307-310

First online:

Right and left proximal femur analyses: Is there a need to do both?

  • S. L. BonnickAffiliated withCenter for Research on Women's Health, Texas Woman's University
  • , D. L. NicholsAffiliated withDepartment of Kinesiology, Texas Woman's University
  • , C. F. SanbornAffiliated withCenter for Research on Women's Health, Texas Woman's University
  • , S. G. PayneAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Education, East Central State U.
  • , S. M. MoenAffiliated withDepartment of Kinesiology, Dallas Baptist University
  • , C. J. HeissAffiliated withDepartment of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Washington State University

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The purpose of this study was to determine if differences existed between right and left proximal femur bone mineral density (BMD) in a group of women. Participants for the study were 198 women ranging in age from 16 to 73 years. Bone mineral densities of both proximal femurs (femoral neck, Ward's area, and trochanter) were assessed using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (Lunar DPX). Mean (±SD) age, height, and weight of the participants were 32.9±18 years, 164±7.4 cm, and 64.9±12.1 kg, respectively. Significant differences between right and left femoral BMDs were found only in the trochanter. Overall, mean differences in BMD were low (neck=0.7%, Ward's =0.2%, and trochanter=1.9%) but individual variations were as high as 22%. Based on BMD z-scores of <−1.0, 84 women were classified as “at risk” for osteoporosis. When right and left z-scores were compared, misclassifications of at risk women were 4, 15, and 11 for neck, Ward's area, and trochanter, respectively. In conclusion, analyses of both right and left proximal femurs may not be necessary for either the researcher or the clinician.

Key words

Bone mineral measurement Osteoporosis