Osteopenia and osteoporosis in adult baboons (Papio hamadryas)

L. M. Havill, S. M. Levine, D. E. Newman, M. C. Mahaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about the degree to which baboons, an important animal model in skeletal research, spontaneously experience age-related osteopenia and osteoporosis. Methods: We measured bone mineral density (BMD) in 667 baboons, assigned T-scores to older animals based on sex-specific young adult reference groups, and compared reproductive history in older females with low BMD to those with normal BMD. Results: Approximately 25% of older baboon females were osteopenic. No females or males were osteoporotic. Neither parity nor interbirth interval spine clearly distinguished low vs. normal BMD groups. Intersite correspondence in low BMD was highest between sites in the same region rather than sites of the same bone type. Conclusions: As with humans, osteopenia is common among older females. The absence of osteoporotic animals may be due to colony maintenance resulting in truncation of the aged population and selection for healthier animals in the oldest ranges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-153
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of medical primatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone density
  • Lactation
  • Non-human primate model
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive history
  • Skeletal aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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