, Volume 19, Issue 9, pp 1301-1306
Date: 27 Feb 2008

Hip axis length variation: its correlation with anthropometric measurements in women from three ethnic groups

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We compared hip axis length (HAL) in 157 non-Hispanic white women, 292 African-American women, and 210 Mexican-American women. After adjusting for maximal hip girth, there were no residual differences in HAL by ethnicity. Differences in hip fracture risk seen between these groups cannot be explained by ethnic differences in HAL.


Hip axis length (HAL) has been reported to be an independent predictor of hip fracture. Significant ethnic differences in HAL have been noted, but no direct comparison has been made between African-American, Mexican-American, and non-Hispanic white women using the same protocol.


We compared 157 non-Hispanic white women from the Rancho Bernardo Study, 292 women from the Health Assessment Study of African-American Women, and 210 women from the Skeletal Health of Mexican-American Women Project. A standardized questionnaire was used to obtain medical history; height, weight, waist girth, and hip girth were measured; and percentage body fat and HAL were obtained using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. All HAL comparisons were adjusted for maximum hip girth to control for differences in size magnification by fan-beam absorptiometry.


Though there were ethnic differences in the unadjusted HAL measurement, after adjusting for hip circumference, there were no residual differences in HAL with regard to ethnicity: 10.7 cm in Mexican-American women vs. 10.8 in non-Hispanic white women and African-American women (p = 0.61).


There were no ethnic differences in HAL in women from the three ethnic groups. Differences in fracture risk among these groups cannot be explained by ethnic differences in HAL.