This study assessed differences in bone-mineral density (BMD) and lean and fat tissues between 5 age groups of White men age 65–93 years. Lean and fat tissues were measured with absorptiometry and anthropometry, and BMD, with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Forearm, spinal, and femoral T scores were used to classify BMD as normal, osteopenic, or osteoporotic. A questionnaire evaluated previous physical activity, calcium intake, and bone fractures. Significantly lower values in body weight, lean tissue, and forearm BMD occurred in the older age groups. Significant, positive relationships were found between total lean tissue and radial, spinal, and hip BMDs. For the total group, osteopenic and osteoporotic T scores, respectively, were femoral neck 70.6% and 9.8%, radius 27.5% and 25.5%, and spine 25.5% and 7.8%. Differences in BMD values were found between levels of lifestyle factors (dietary calcium and history of previous fractures). In conclusion, elderly men should be encouraged to maintain adequate total lean tissue because of its association with BMD.
Ballard, Herron, Harrington, and Mobbs are with the University of Texas at Tyler Dept. of Health and Kinesiology, Tyler, TX 75701. Wallace is with the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, TN 37920. Holiday and Cussen are with the University of Texas Health Center at Tyler, Tyler, TX 75701.