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For Men, Income Linked to Changes in Bone Mineral Density

Neither self-identified race/ethnicity nor genetic ancestry linked to bone mineral density

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For men, income, but not self-identified race/ethnicity or genetic ancestry, is associated with annualized percentage changes in bone mineral density (BMD), according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Andre B. Araujo, Ph.D., from the New England Research Institutes in Watertown, Mass., and colleagues examined annualized percentage change in BMD at the hip, spine, and forearm during seven years of follow-up. Participants were males, aged 30 to 79 years at baseline. After controlling for an extensive set of covariates, the authors examined whether race/ethnicity, income, or genetic ancestry predicted annualized percentage change in BMD.

The researchers found that the annualized percentage change in BMD ranged from −0.65 percent (femoral neck) to +0.26 percent (1/3 distal radius); across age groups changes were consistent except for the ultradistal radius, where annualized declines increased with age. Neither self-identified race/ethnicity nor genetic ancestry correlated with annualized percentage change in BMD, but income correlated strongly and independently with annualized percentage change in BMD at the total hip. Among men with low and moderate incomes, the fully adjusted least-square mean change in annualized percentage change in BMD was −0.24 and −0.16 percent steeper, respectively, compared with men with higher incomes (overall P = 0.0293).

"These data suggest that fracture risk in men may be driven in part by income-related differences in bone loss," the authors write.

One author is currently employed by Eli Lilly, and was previously employed by the New England Research Institutes.

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