Determinants of bone loss from the femoral neck in women of different ages

L. Joseph Melton, Elizabeth J. Atkinson, Michael K. O'Connor, W. Michael O'Fallon, B. Lawrence Riggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


An age-stratified sample of 304 women from Rochester, Minnesota, aged 30-94 years (median 60 years) at baseline underwent measurement of femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) over a follow-up period extending to 16 years. The average rate of change in femoral neck BMD was -1.0% per year (range -10.0% to +13.4%) and did not vary significantly with age. Because there was no marked increase in the rate of loss around the time of menopause, nor convincing evidence of there being a subset of fast losers, there was fairly good tracking of individual values over time; the correlation of baseline with femoral neck BMD values 16 years later was 0.83. Although a large number of potential determinants was assessed, the only consistent predictor of femoral neck bone loss in women of different ages was baseline femoral neck BMD (r = -0.15; p = 0.023). Otherwise, different sets of risk factors were identified for premenopausal women, women within 20 years of menopause, and women 20 years or more postmenopausal, but the predictive power of these different multivariate models was modest. Nonetheless, these data indicate that femoral neck BMD is quite predictable for extended periods of time. This is reassuring with respect to the use of statistical models that incorporate such data to estimate future fracture risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Epidemiology
  • Hip fracture
  • Osteoporosis
  • Population- based
  • Prospective study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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