Osteoporosis International

, Volume 18, Issue 7, pp 943–953 | Cite as

Race/ethnic differences in bone mineral density in men

  • A. B. AraujoEmail author
  • T. G. Travison
  • S. S. Harris
  • M. F. Holick
  • A. K. Turner
  • J. B. McKinlay
Original Article



The epidemiology of osteoporosis in male and minority populations is understudied. We compared BMD in 1,209 Black, Hispanic, and White men. Black men exhibited higher BMD than Hispanic or White men. Age-related BMD decreases were greatest among Hispanic men. Results may help explain variation in hip fracture rates by race/ethnicity.


The epidemiology of osteoporosis in male and minority populations is understudied. To address this concern, we conducted a study of skeletal health in a diverse population of adult males.


A total of 367 Black, 401 Hispanic, and 451 White men aged 30–79 years were randomly sampled from Boston, MA. Bone densitometry (bone area (BA), bone mineral content (BMC), and bone mineral density (BMD)) at the whole body, hip, lumbar spine, and forearm was performed. Multiple regression analyses on 1,209 men with available data were used to describe race/ethnic group-specific means (height- and age-adjusted) and age trends (height-adjusted) in BMC, BA, and BMD. Results were weighted to represent the Boston male population aged 30–79 years.


Black men had greater BMC and BMD than Hispanic or White men. Femoral neck BMD was 5.6% and 13.3% higher in Black men than in Hispanic and White men, respectively. Differences between Hispanic and White subjects were restricted to the hip. Age-related declines in BMC and BMD were significantly steeper among Hispanic than Black or White men.


Differences in BMC and BMD could explain variation in fracture rates among Black, Hispanic, and White men. The steeper age-related BMD decline in Hispanic men is of particular concern.


Bone densitometry Epidemiology Men Osteoporosis Population study Race/ethnicity 



The BACH/Bone study was supported by grant AG 20727 from the National Institute on Aging (NIA). The parent study (BACH) was supported by grant DK 56842 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Additional support from MO RR00533. The authors appreciate the statistical support of Gretchen Esche, M.S.


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. B. Araujo
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. G. Travison
    • 1
  • S. S. Harris
    • 2
  • M. F. Holick
    • 3
  • A. K. Turner
    • 3
  • J. B. McKinlay
    • 1
  1. 1.New England Research InstitutesWatertownUSA
  2. 2.Bone Metabolism LaboratoryUSDA HNRCA at Tufts UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, Department of MedicineBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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