Rates of growth and loss of bone mineral in the spine and femoral neck in white females

Osteoporos Int. 1999;9(3):200-5. doi: 10.1007/s001980050137.


This study characterizes the rates of growth and loss of bone mass as a function of age in white females. It combines longitudinal data from several studies of bone mass on healthy white female subjects ranging from age 6 to 90 years. Rates of change in bone area, bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) are estimated separately for the spine and the femoral neck of each individual using linear regression. The individual rates of change are then fitted as a nonparametric function of age using weighted moving averages, resulting in a curve of age-specific mean change as a function of age. When the curves of BMD were compared between the hip and the femoral neck, the cessation of bone growth and the onset of bone loss were found to occur at an earlier age at the hip than at the spine. No significant differences in the ages of maximum rates of growth or maximum loss were found between the two skeletal sites. This information will be useful for designing interventions to promote bone growth or retard bone loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bone Density*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Femur Neck / growth & development
  • Femur Neck / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Spine / growth & development
  • Spine / physiology*