Influence of Lifestyle Factors on Quantitative Heel Ultrasound Measurements in Middle-Aged and Elderly Men
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We examined the distribution of quantitative heel ultrasound (QUS) parameters in population samples of European men and looked at the influence of lifestyle factors on the occurrence of these parameters. Men aged between 40 and 79 years were recruited from eight European centers and invited to attend for an interviewer-assisted questionnaire, assessment of physical performance, and quantitative ultrasound (QUS) of the calcaneus (Hologic; Sahara). The relationships between QUS parameters and lifestyle variables were assessed using linear regression with adjustments for age, center, and weight. Three thousand two hundred fifty-eight men, mean age 60.0 years, were included in the analysis. A higher PASE score (upper vs. lower tertile) was associated with a higher BUA (β coefficient = 2.44 dB/Mhz), SOS (β = 6.83 m/s), and QUI (β = 3.87). Compared to those who were inactive, those who walked or cycled more than an hour per day had a higher BUA (β = 3.71 dB/Mhz), SOS (β = 6.97 m/s), and QUI (β = 4.50). A longer time to walk 50 ft was linked with a lower BUA (β = −0.62 dB/Mhz), SOS (β = −1.06 m/s), and QUI (β = −0.69). Smoking was associated with a reduction in BUA, SOS, and QUI. There was a U-shaped association with frequency of alcohol consumption. Modification of lifestyle, including increasing physical activity and stopping smoking, may help optimize bone strength and reduce the risk of fracture in middle-aged and elderly European men.