Behavioral predictors of quantitative ultrasound broadband attenuation score in young adult Caucasian women

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Aim: Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) is frequently used to screen older individuals for bone fracture risk and to identify younger adults 'with low bone quality. Current public health recommendations suggest that bone density and quality are related to being physically active, consuming sufficient amounts of calcium, and maintaining an appropriate body weight. This study examined the relationship of QUS broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) and speed of sound (SOS) measured at the calcaneus with behavioral and physical factors commonly associated with bone health. Methods: The study had a cross-sectional design. Ninety-eight Caucasian female university students 20-29 years of age were measured for height and weight, participated in QUS measurements of the calcaneus and completed questionnaires assessing health history, physical activity, calcium intake, and restrained eating. Results: Body weight explained 5% of the variance in BUA score (P<0.05), but BUA was not associated with age, height, physical activity, calcium intake, restrained eating score, or use of oral contraceptives. Restrained eating score was positively related to subject weight (r=0.32, P<0.01) and BMI (r=0.40, P<0.01). The SOS score was not related to any of the physical or behavioral variables examined. Conclusion: In this group of young adult women, the attenuation of sound through bone was associated with body weight but not with behavioral factors commonly promoted to improve bone health. These findings question the advice commonly given to young women with low bone quality and suggest that other factors, including body weight, be considered.

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche

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