Key words: Bone density — Physical activity — Physical performance — Physical function.
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. Fracture risk is influenced by both bone strength and by falls. Measures of physical function and performance are predictors of falls. However, the interrelationships among bone mineral density (BMD), regular physical activity, and measures of physical performance are not well known. We studied 447 community-dwelling Japanese people aged 40 years and over (96 men and 351 women) to examine the association of calcaneus BMD with measures of physical performance (grip strength, walking speed, chair stand, and functional reach) and regular physical activity. Calcaneus BMD decreased with age by approximately 25% in men and 42% in women. Measures of physical performance decreased with age by approximately 30% in both genders, however, performance on the chair stand test declined by approximately 60%. There were only minimal differences in performance measures and calcaneus BMD between people with and those without regular physical activity in both genders, and most differences were not significant. However, there were significant BMD increases of 3–6% per standard deviation (SD) increase in all performance measures for women and a 7% increase in BMD per SD increase in grip strength for men, after adjusting for age. These associations remained after additional adjustment for body mass index and regular physical activity. These findings suggest that bone density and physical function decline markedly in both men and women with age, and that low BMD and poor function tend to occur together, which would increase fracture risk more than either risk factor alone.
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