The association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D with indicators of bone quality in men of Caucasian and African ancestry

K. E. Barbour, J. M. Zmuda, M. J. Horwitz, E. S. Strotmeyer, R. Boudreau, R. W. Evans, K. E. Ensrud, C. L. Gordon, M. A. Petit, A. L. Patrick, J. A. Cauley

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25 Scopus citations


Summary: We examined the association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] with indices of bone quality in older men. Positive associations for 25(OH)D and bone mineral density, content, cortical thickness, and axial and polar strength strain indices were observed among Caucasians; however, among men of African descent findings were either null or negative. Introduction: There are limited data on serum 25(OH)D and bone measures in men of African ancestry. To better understand racial differences in vitamin D status and bone health, a cross-sectional study among 446 Caucasian men in the US and 496 men of African ancestry in Tobago (age ≥ 65 years) was conducted. Methods: Serum 25(OH)D (liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry) was measured, and peripheral quantitative computed tomography scans were administered. Bone measures estimated included trabecular and cortical volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD), bone mineral content (BMC), bone geometry (cross-sectional area and cortical thickness), and polar and axial strength strain indices (SSIp and SSIx). Results: Men of African ancestry had higher 25(OH)D than Caucasians (34.7 vs. 27.6 ng/ml, p < 0.01). Among Caucasians, 25(OH)D was positively (p trend < 0.05) associated with cortical vBMD, total BMC, cortical thickness, SSIp, and SSIx at the distal radius after adjustment for potential confounders. Similar patterns were observed at the distal tibia. In contrast, in men of African ancestry, there was an inverse association (p trend < 0.05) between 25(OH)D and the cross-sectional area, and SSIx. Race modified (p for interaction < 0.05) the association between 25(OH)D and total BMC, cross-sectional area, SSIp, SSIx, and trabecular vBMD of the radius. In men of African ancestry, there was evidence of a threshold effect (at approximately 18 ng/ml) for 25(OH)D on tibial total BMC and cortical thickness. Conclusions: More studies are needed to better comprehend these race differences for 25(OH)D and bone density, geometry, and indices of bone strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2475-2485
Number of pages11
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study is supported by the National Institutes of Health funding. The following institutes provide support: the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research under the following grant numbers: U01 AR45580, U01 AR45614, U01 AR45632, U01 AR45647, U01 AR45654, U01 AR45583, U01 AG18197, U01-AG027810, and UL1 RR024140. The Tobago Bone Health Study was supported by NIAMS grant R01-AR049747 and National Cancer Institute grant R01-CA84950 and the American Diabetes Association (1-04-JF-46, Strotmeyer ES).


  • 25(OH)D
  • Men
  • Radius
  • Tibia
  • pQCT
  • vBMD


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