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Sex and age patterns of quantitative ultrasound densitometry of the calcaneus in normal japanese subjects

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The speed of sound (SOS), broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA), and the stiffness index (stiffness), which was derived from SOS and BUA, were measured on the calcaneus using the Achilles ultrasound densitometer (Lunar) in normal Japanese woman (n = 473) and men (n = 218). Sex differences and age-related changes in these variables were investigated. In addition, the bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar vertebrae measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry (QDR-2000, Hologic) was compared with SOS, BUA, and stiffness. There were some decreases of ultrasound variables in both young adult men and women. BMD values were similar in young adults of both sexes. BMD was relatively stable in women from 20 to 49 years, then decreased at about 1.5%/year. Ultrasound variables were higher in males than females at all ages, and they decreased from age 20 onward in both sexes with an annual loss of about 0.6%. Age-related changes in SOS, BUA, and stiffness were different from those in BMD in normal Japanese subjects. The correlations between BMD and SOS and BUA and stiffness were higher in women (r = 0.51–0.64) than in men (r = 0.43–0.49).

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Takeda, N., Miyake, M., Kita, S. et al. Sex and age patterns of quantitative ultrasound densitometry of the calcaneus in normal japanese subjects. Calcif Tissue Int 59, 84–88 (1996).

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