Premenopausal bone loss in the lumbar spine and neck of femur: a study of 225 Caucasian women

Bone. 1990;11(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/8756-3282(90)90064-6.


Two hundred and twenty-five premenopausal women were studied to evaluate age-related changes in trabecular bone mass. Measurements were made at the lumbar spine and femoral neck by dual photon absorptiometry. It was found that spinal bone density increased significantly from the 20s to reach a peak in the mid-30s. Identical trends were observed in total bone mass and bone mass normalized by length. Bone loss then proceeded at a rate of 1% per year, and by the early 50s, 10% of peak spinal density was lost. There was no peak in femoral neck density; loss commenced in the late 20s and continued at a rate of 0.4% per year. The cumulative premenopausal loss from the femur at 9% was comparable to that in the spine. It is concluded that significant amounts of trabecular bone are lost from both the spine and femoral neck before the menopause. The implications of these findings for the prevention of osteoporosis are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Femur Neck / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / ethnology*