Normal Changes in Spinal Bone Mineral Density in a Chinese Population: Assessment by Quantitative Computed Tomography and Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry
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This study was designed to determine age- and gender-based normative values for spinal bone mineral density (BMD) in a Chinese population. In addition, we compared our data with those of other countries and populations. Four hundred and forty-three healthy Chinese subjects, aged 10–79 years (189 males, mean age 46.9 years; 254 females, mean age 45.7 years) were recruited for BMD assessment. BMD was measured by quantitative computed tomography (QCT) and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), including postero-anterior DXA (PA-DXA), lateral DXA (L-DXA) and midlateral DXA (mL-DXA). For both genders, BMD values peaked in the 10–19 year age group when measured by QCT, and in the 30–39 year age group when measured by PA-DXA. BMD values decreased with age after reaching peak bone density in males and females for all measurements, except for PA-DXA in males. Male BMD values by DXA tended to increase beginning with the 60–69 age group through the 70–79 age group whether by PA-DXA, or L-DXA and mL-DXA. However, male QCT data showed stable BMD values among these two older groups. Comparative results showed female QCT data were higher in the 20–39 age group and lower after the 40–49 age group compared with American females. The peak BMD value by PA-DXA in Chinese females was reached in the same age group as American and European females and was similar in magnitude (p > 0.05). However, the peak BMD value for Chinese females was reached earlier and was significantly higher than that observed in Japanese females (p < 0.001). We conclude that the age group in which the peak BMD values are reached is different depending on the technique used, as is the calculated age-related rate of bone loss. It can be speculated that such differences reflect different timing for bone maturation in cancellous and cortical bone.
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