Osteoporotic fractures are less prevalent in African Americans than in caucasians, possibly because of differences in bone structural strength. Bone structural adaptation can be attributed to changes in load, crudely measured as lean and fat mass throughout life. The purpose of this analysis was to describe the associations of leg lean mass, total body fat mass, and hours walked per week with femoral bone mineral density (BMD) and bone geometry in a cross-sectional sample of 1,748 men of African descent between the ages of 40 and 79 years. BMD, section modulus (Z), cross-sectional area (CSA), and subperiosteal width were measured from dual energy X-ray absortiometry (DXA) scans using the hip structural analysis (HSA) program. Multiple linear regression models explained 35% to 48% of the variance in bending (Z) and axial (CSA) strength at the femoral neck and shaft. Independent of all covariates including total body fat mass, one standard deviation increase in leg lean mass was significantly associated with a 5% to 8% higher Z, CSA, and BMD (P < 0.010) at the neck and shaft. The number of hours walked per week was not a strong or consistent independent predictor of bone geometry or BMD. We have shown that weight is the strongest independent predictor of femur BMD and geometric strength although the effect appears to be mediated by lean mass since leg lean mass fraction and total body fat mass fraction had significant and opposing effects at the narrow neck and shaft in this group of middle aged and elderly men.
- African ancestry
- Body composition
- Femur geometry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine