Influence of age and sex steroids on bone density and geometry in middle-aged and elderly European men.
Ward KA., Pye SR., Adams JE., Boonen S., Vanderschueren D., Borghs H., Gaytant J., Gielen E., Bartfai G., Casanueva FF., Finn JD., Forti G., Giwercman A., Han TS., Huhtaniemi IT., Kula K., Labrie F., Lean MEJ., Pendleton N., Punab M., Silman AJ., Wu FCW., O'Neill TW., EMAS study group None.
SUMMARY: The influence of age and sex steroids on bone density and geometry of the radius was examined in two European Caucasian populations. Age-related change in bone density and geometry was observed. In older men, bioavailable oestradiol may play a role in the maintenance of cortical and trabecular bone mineral density (BMD). INTRODUCTION: To examine the effect of age and sex steroids on bone density and geometry of the radius in two European Caucasian populations. METHODS: European Caucasian men aged 40-79 years were recruited from population registers in two centres: Manchester (UK) and Leuven (Belgium), for participation in the European Male Ageing Study. Total testosterone (T) and oestradiol (E(2)) were measured by mass spectrometry and the free and bioavailable fractions calculated. Peripheral quantitative computed tomography was used to scan the radius at distal (4%) and midshaft (50%) sites. RESULTS: Three hundred thirty-nine men from Manchester and 389 from Leuven, mean ages 60.2 and 60.0 years, respectively, participated. At the 50% radius site, there was a significant decrease with age in cortical BMD, bone mineral content (BMC), cortical thickness, and muscle area, whilst medullary area increased. At the 4% radius site, trabecular and total volumetric BMD declined with age. Increasing bioavailable E(2) (bioE(2)) was associated with increased cortical BMD (50% radius site) and trabecular BMD (4% radius site) in Leuven, but not Manchester, men. This effect was predominantly in those aged 60 years and over. In older Leuven men, bioavailable testosterone (Bio T) was linked with increased cortical BMC, muscle area and SSI (50% radius site) and total area (4% radius site). CONCLUSIONS: There is age-related change in bone density and geometry at the midshaft radius in middle-aged and elderly European men. In older men bioE(2) may maintain cortical and trabecular BMD. BioT may influence bone health through associations with muscle mass and bone area.