The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between skeletal aging traits (obtained from evaluation of hand radiographs) and physique characteristics, including indices of obesity, skeletal size, muscular development, and the somatotypes of Heath and Carter (1967) and of Deriabin (1985). To achieve our aims, we used multiple regression analysis, and Pearson's and canonical correlation analyses. The studied population comprised 629 males and 561 females aged 18-90 years, all members of the Chuvasha (Russian Federation). The present study provides evidence for a connection between hand bone aging traits and physique characteristics. The cortical index showed a small but significant correlation with adiposity and the index of overall physique, but bone mineral density (BMD) traits were not correlated with the index of overall physique. Deriabin's set of somatotypes was significantly correlated with BMD, but could explain only 2% of its variation. Significant correlations of the hand osteoarthritis trait were observed with indices of adiposity. Also observed were statistically significant canonical correlations with both sets of somatotypes, which enabled us to predict 2-3% of hand osteoarthritis variation by a combination of somatotype components. Osseometric score evinced statistically significant correlations with most indices of physique as well as with a combination of somatotype components. These findings may prove helpful in epidemiological studies, because they show that body composition is the factor that is statistically significantly associated with skeletal aging.
2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.