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JBMR plus, 2022; 6(12): e10696, PMID: 36530188

Greater pQCT calf muscle density is associated with lower fracture risk, independent of FRAX, falls and BMD: a meta-analysis in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study

Year: 2022

NC Harvey, E Orwoll, K Ward
MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK


We investigated the predictive performance of peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) measures of both calf muscle density (an established surrogate for muscle adiposity, with higher values indicating lower muscle adiposity and higher muscle quality) and size (cross-sectional area [CSA]) for incident fracture. pQCT (Stratec XCT2000/3000) measurements at the tibia were undertaken in Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) United States (US), Hong Kong (HK), and Swedish (SW) cohorts. Analyses were by cohort and synthesized by meta-analysis. The predictive value for incident fracture outcomes, illustrated here for hip fracture (HF), using an extension of Poisson regression adjusted for age and follow-up time, was expressed as hazard ratio (HR) per standard deviation (SD) increase in exposure (HR/SD). Further analyses adjusted for femoral neck (fn) bone mineral density (BMD) T-score, Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) 10-year fracture probability (major osteoporotic fracture) and prior falls. We studied 991 (US), 1662 (HK), and 1521 (SW) men, mean ± SD age 77.0 ± 5.1, 73.9 ± 4.9, 80 ± 3.4 years, followed for a mean ± SD 7.8 ± 2.2, 8.1 ± 2.3, 5.3 ± 2.0 years, with 31, 47, and 78 incident HFs, respectively. Both greater muscle CSA and greater muscle density were associated with a lower risk of incident HF [HR/SD: 0.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72–1.0 and 0.78; 95% CI, 0.66–0.91, respectively]. The pattern of associations was not materially changed by adjustment for prior falls or FRAX probability. In contrast, after inclusion of fn BMD T-score, the association for muscle CSA was no longer apparent (1.04; 95% CI, 0.88–1.24), whereas that for muscle density was not materially changed (0.69; 95% CI, 0.59–0.82). Findings were similar for osteoporotic fractures. pQCT measures of greater calf muscle density and CSA were both associated with lower incidence of fractures in older men, but only muscle density remained an independent risk factor for fracture after accounting for fn BMD. These findings demonstrate a complex interplay between measures of bone, muscle size, and quality, in determining fracture risk. © 2022 The Authors. JBMR Plus published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

GID: 5833; Last update: 14.11.2022
More information: Original Article