Differences in femoral neck structure between elderly Caucasian and Chinese populations: a cross-sectional study of Perth–Beijing cohorts

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Summary: Structural skeletal differences of the femoral neck of older Beijing-Chinese and Perth-Caucasian women were compared; adjusting for frame size-related differences, Beijing-Chinese have lower periosteal width; however, indices of internal bone distribution suggest that Beijing-Chinese may exhibit increased resistance to fracture that may relate to the reduced hip fracture incidence. Introduction: Ethnic differences in skeletal structure may relate to differences in hip fracture risk in Chinese and Caucasian populations. 2D mass, size, and structural biomechanics were compared in the two populations. Methods: Quantitative computed tomography-derived geometric variables were compared in age-matched community-derived female populations, 196 Beijing-Chinese 76.5 ± 4.8 (mean ± SD) years and 237 Perth-Caucasians 77.1 ± 5.0 years. These included scanned area (A), periosteal width (W), bone mineral content (BMC), aBMD, bone cross-sectional area (bCSA), section modulus (Z) and buckling ratio (BR). Assumption-free measures included sigma (σ), related to the distribution of bone in the scanned image previously identified as a predictor of hip fracture, and delta (δ), the center-of-mass displacement from the geometric center. Results: Compared to Beijing-Chinese, Perth-Caucasians were heavier (Beijing-Chinese 58.7 ± 11.8; Perth-Caucasians 66.1 ± 11.0 kg), taller (154.9 ± 16.7 vs 158.9 ± 6.0 cm), and had higher BMC, A, and W. After adjustment for frame size, BMC was not significantly different but W remained higher in Perth-Caucasians. Differences in variables aBMD, Z, BR, and σ favored higher resistance to failure with Beijing-Chinese before and after adjustment for frame size. δ was similar in both populations; bCSA was higher in Beijing-Chinese before adjustment for frame size but not after. Conclusions: Bone mass differences in two populations were related to frame size differences. However, femoral neck width remained smaller in Beijing-Chinese suggesting effects of local genetic and environmental factors. In Beijing-Chinese participants compared to Perth-Caucasians, internal bone distribution suggests increased resistance to deformation if exposed to same force that may, in-part, relate to reduced incidence of hip fracture in Beijing-Chinese.

Peer-reviewedYes
Original languageEnglish
Article number72
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Osteoporosis
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


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