Summary: Peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) provides biomechanical estimates of bone strength. Rural South Indian men have reduced biomechanical indices of bone strength compared to US Caucasian and Afro-Caribbean men. This suggests an underlying higher risk of osteoporotic fractures and greater future fracture burden among the rural South Indian men. Introduction: Geographical and racial comparisons of bone mineral density (BMD) have largely focused on DXA measures of areal BMD. In contrast, peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) measures volumetric BMD (vBMD), bone structural geometry and provides estimates of biomechanical strength. To further understand potential geographical and racial differences in skeletal health, we compared pQCT measures among US Caucasian, Afro-Caribbean, and rural South Indian men. Methods: We studied men aged ≥ 60 years enrolled in the Mobility and Independent Living among Elders Study (MILES) in rural south India (N = 245), Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS) in the US (N = 1148), and the Tobago Bone Health Study (N = 828). Results: The BMI (kg/m2) of rural South Indian men (21.6) was significantly lower compared to the US Caucasians (28) and Afro-Caribbean men (26.9). Adjusting for age, height, body weight, and grip strength; rural South Indian men compared to US Caucasians had significantly lower trabecular vBMD [− 1.3 to − 1.5 standard deviation (SD)], cortical thickness [− 0.8 to − 1.2 SD]; significantly higher endosteal circumference [0.5 to 0.8 SD]; but similar cortical vBMD. Afro-Caribbean men compared to US Caucasians had similar trabecular vBMD but significantly higher cortical vBMD [0.9 to 1.2 SD], SSIp [0.2 to 1.4 SD], and tibial endosteal circumference [1 SD], Conclusions: In comparison to US Caucasians, rural South Indian men have reduced bone strength (lower trabecular vBMD) and Afro-Caribbean men have greater bone strength (higher cortical vBMD). These results suggest an underlying higher risk of osteoporotic fractures and greater future fracture burden among rural South Indian men.
- Volumetric BMD