Little is known about the progression of bone loss during young adulthood and whether it differs between men and women. As part of the San Antonio Family Osteoporosis Study we tested whether bone mineral density (BMD) changed over time in men or women, and whether the rate of BMD change differed between the sexes. BMD of the proximal femur, spine, radius, and whole body was measured in 115 men and 202 pre-menopausal women (ages 25 to 45. years; Mexican American ancestry) by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at two time points (5.6. years apart), from which annual percent change-in-BMD was calculated. Likelihood-based methods were used to test whether change-in-BMD differs from zero or differs between men and women. In men, percent change-in-BMD was significantly greater than zero for the 1/3 radius (i.e. indicating a gain of BMD; Bonferroni-adjusted p <0.01), less than zero for the femoral neck, lumbar spine, ultradistal radius, and whole body (i.e. indicating a loss of BMD; p <0.01 for all), and not different than zero for the total hip (p=0.24). In women, percent change-in-BMD was greater than zero for the total hip, 1/3 radius, and whole body (p <0.01 for all), less than zero for the ultradistal radius (p <0.01), and not significantly different than zero for the femoral neck and lumbar spine (p=1.0 for both). For all skeletal sites, men experienced greater decrease in BMD (or less increase in BMD) than women; this result was observed both with and without adjustment for age, BMI, and change-in-BMI (p <0.05 for all). These results suggest that significant bone loss occurs at some skeletal sites in young men and women, and that loss of BMD is occurring significantly faster, or gain of BMD is occurring significantly slower, in young men compared to young women.
- Bone loss
- Bone mineral density
- Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry
- Sex differences
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism