Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 90, Issue 5, pp 354–364 | Cite as

Mid-Thigh Cortical Bone Structural Parameters, Muscle Mass and Strength, and Association with Lower Limb Fractures in Older Men and Women (AGES-Reykjavik Study)

  • Fjola Johannesdottir
  • Thor Aspelund
  • Kristin Siggeirsdottir
  • Brynjolfur Y. Jonsson
  • Brynjolfur Mogensen
  • Sigurdur Sigurdsson
  • Tamara B. Harris
  • Vilmundur G. Gudnason
  • Thomas F. Lang
  • Gunnar SigurdssonEmail author
Original Research


In a cross-sectional study we investigated the relationship between muscle and bone parameters in the mid-thigh in older people using data from a single axial computed tomographic section through the mid-thigh. Additionally, we studied the association of these variables with incident low-trauma lower limb fractures. A total of 3,762 older individuals (1,838 men and 1,924 women), aged 66–96 years, participants in the AGES-Reykjavik study, were studied. The total cross-sectional muscular area and knee extensor strength declined with age similarly in both sexes. Muscle parameters correlated most strongly with cortical area and total shaft area (adjusted for age, height, and weight) but explained <10 % of variability in those bone parameters. The increment in medullary area (MA) and buckling ratio (BR) with age was almost fourfold greater in women than men. The association between MA and muscle parameters was nonsignificant. During a median follow-up of 5.3 years, 113 women and 66 men sustained incident lower limb fractures. Small muscular area, low knee extensor strength, large MA, low cortical thickness, and high BR were significantly associated with fractures in both sexes. Our results show that bone and muscle loss proceed at different rates and with different gender patterns.


Mid-thigh Muscle–bone relationship Aging Fracture risk CT 



This study was funded by NIH contract N01-AG-1-2100, the NIA Intramural Research Program, Hjartavernd (the Icelandic Heart Association), the Althingi (the Icelandic Parliament), and the memorial fund of Helga Jonsdottir and Sigurlidi Kristjansson. G.S. acknowledges support from the University of Iceland Research Fund. The study was approved by the Icelandic National Bioethics Committee (VSN 00-063). The researchers are indebted to the participants for their willingness to participate in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fjola Johannesdottir
    • 1
  • Thor Aspelund
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kristin Siggeirsdottir
    • 2
  • Brynjolfur Y. Jonsson
    • 3
  • Brynjolfur Mogensen
    • 1
    • 4
  • Sigurdur Sigurdsson
    • 2
  • Tamara B. Harris
    • 5
  • Vilmundur G. Gudnason
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thomas F. Lang
    • 6
  • Gunnar Sigurdsson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.University of IcelandReykjavikIceland
  2. 2.Icelandic Heart AssociationKopavogurIceland
  3. 3.Malmö University HospitalMalmöSweden
  4. 4.Landspitali University HospitalFossvogurIceland
  5. 5.National Institute on AgingBethesdaUSA
  6. 6.University of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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