, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 335-341
Date: 05 May 2007

Familial aggregation of forearm bone mineral density in Chinese

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Osteoporosis is a major public health concern and its prevalence can be predicted based on forearm bone mineral density (BMD). This study is to investigate the familial aggregation of forearm BMD in a population-based, cross-sectional study in Anhui, China. Information on sociodemographic and environmental variables was obtained from 1,636 subjects from 409 nuclear families (including mother, father, and their first two children) by a standardized questionnaire. The forearm BMD was measured by peripheral dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (pDXA). Using generalized additive models with a sequential adjustment for covariates, it was clearly indicated that the forearm BMD of the mother, the father, and the first sibling each had a significant and independent relation to the forearm BMD of the second sibling. Furthermore, using multiple logistic regression, the second sibling had an odds ratio (OR) of 5.3 (95%CI: 2.0–14.5) of having an extremely low (bottom 10th percentile) proximal forearm BMD and an OR of 4.3 (95%CI: 1.6–12.0) of having an extremely low distal forearm BMD when the parental mean forearm BMD was low and the first sibling’s forearm BMD was low. Our findings showing strong familial aggregation of both proximal and distal forearm BMD values suggest that genetic factors play a significant role in determining both traits.