Ethnic differences in bone geometry between White, Black and South Asian men in the UK

A Zengin, Stephen Pye, Michael Cook, J E Adams, Frederick Wu, Terence O'Neill, K A Ward

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    Relatively little is known about the bone health of ethnic groups within the UK and data are largely restricted to women. The aim of this study was to investigate ethnic differences in areal bone mineral density (aBMD), volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD), bone geometry and strength in UK men. White European, Black Afro-Caribbean and South Asian men aged over 40years were recruited from Greater Manchester, UK. aBMD at the spine, hip, femoral neck and whole body were measured by DXA. Bone geometry, strength and vBMD were measured at the radius and tibia using pQCT at the metaphysis (4%) and diaphysis (50% radius; 38% tibia) sites. Adjustments were made for age, weight and height. Black men had higher aBMD at the whole body, total hip and femoral neck compared to White and South Asian men independent of body size adjustments, with no differences between the latter two groups. White men had longer hip axis lengths than both Black and South Asian men. There were fewer differences in vBMD but White men had significantly lower cortical vBMD at the tibial diaphysis than Black and South Asian men (p<0.001). At the tibia and radius diaphysis, Black men had larger bones with thicker cortices and greater bending strength than the other groups. There were fewer differences between White and South Asian men. At the metaphysis, South Asian men had smaller bones (p=0.02) and lower trabecular vBMD at the tibia (p=0.003). At the diaphysis, after size-correction, South Asian men had similar sized bones but thinner cortices than White men; measures of strength were not broadly reduced in the South Asian men. Combining pQCT and DXA measurements has given insight into differences in bone phenotype in men from different ethnic backgrounds. Understanding such differences is important in understanding the aetiology of male osteoporosis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Early online date22 Jul 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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