Finite-element analysis (FEA) of quantitative computed tomography (QCT) scans can estimate site-specific whole-bone strength. However, it is uncertain whether the site-specific detail included in FEA-estimated proximal femur (hip) strength can determine fracture risk at sites with different biomechanical characteristics. To address this question, we used FEA of proximal femur QCT scans to estimate hip strength and load-to-strength ratio during a simulated sideways fall and measured total hip areal and volumetric bone mineral density (aBMD and vBMD) from QCT images in an age-stratified random sample of community-dwelling adults age 35 years or older. Among 314 women (mean age ± SD: 61 ± 15 years; 235 postmenopausal) and 266 men (62 ± 16 years), 139 women and 104 men had any prevalent fracture, whereas 55 Women and 28 men had a prevalent osteoporotic fracture that had occurred at age 35 years or older. Odds ratios by age-adjusted logistic regression analysis for prevalent overall and osteoporotic fractures each were similar for FEA hip strength and load-to-strength ratio, as well as for total hip aBMD and vBMD. C-statistics (estimated areas under ROC curves) also were similar [eg, 0.84 to 0.85 (women) and 0.75 to 0.78 (men) for osteoporotic fractures]. In women and men, the association with prevalent osteoporotic fractures increased below an estimated hip strength of approximately 3000 N. Despite its site-specific nature, FEA-estimated hip strength worked equally well at predicting prevalent overall and osteoporotic fractures. Furthermore, an estimated hip strength below 3000 N may represent a critical level of systemic skeletal fragility in both sexes that warrants further investigation.
- Bone Density
- Finite-Element Analysis
- Proximal Femur
- Quantitative Computed Tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine