We assessed the changes in regional bone mineral density according to age and examined the relationship between various regional bone mineral densities. The study was conducted in 985 Japanese women divided into <50-years group (n = 435) and ≧50 years group (n = 550). The total body bone mineral density and that of the head, arm, leg, thoracic (T)-spine, lumbar (L)-spine, ribs, and pelvis were measured using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. There was a significant generalized reduction of bone mineral density in all regions after the age of 50 years. The most marked age-related decrease was observed in the L-spine. Bone mineral densities in all regions significantly correlated to each other in both age groups, but the degree of significance varied among regions. The relationship between bone mineral density of the L-spine and that of T-spine regions was the most significant in both groups. In the <50-years group, the correlation between bone mineral density of the pelvis and that of L-spine and T-spine was the highest, followed by that between the pelvis and the leg. On the other hand, in the ≧50-years group, the correlation between bone mineral density of the pelvis and that of the leg was the highest, but not the L-spine or T-spine. Since spine measurements are affected by vertebral deformity and/or aortic calcification, our findings suggest the pelvis may be a useful region for screening measurements of bone mineral density, especially in older women.
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