The purpose of this project is to assess bone mineral density and bone mineral homeostasis in elderly African-American women as compared to age matched Caucasians women. It is anticipated that from this thorough characterization of bone metabolism in elderly African-American women, inferences can be made concerning predictors for their hip fracture risk. The study measures bone mineral density (femoral neck and lumbar spine) and biochemical determinants of bone homeostasis (calcium, vitamin D and urinary hydroxyproline) of community dwelling, ambulatory women ages 69-79 years old and makes racial comparisons. A sample size of 100 women (50 African-American, 50 Caucasian) allows for a power of with a significance of 5 % to detect a 0.5 standard deviation in bone mineral density between the races. To date 104 subjects have been screened for participation in this study. Seventy-eight subjects (51 Caucasian, 27 African-American) have met inclusion criteria and have been enrolled in the study protocol. Preliminary data analysis shows a trend of increased bone mineral density among African-American women as compared to Caucasian women (mean hip bmd g/cm2 African-American - 0.8011 0.16, Caucasian - 0.7411 0.13 p= 0.07). Data collection and subject recruitment are still in process, complete statistical analysis of the results are not available at this time. Data collection and recruitment will continue to achieve a sample size of 100-123 subjects. The study protocol will not be changed. Although the incidence of hip fracture is lower in African-American women than Caucasian women, African-American women that are hospitalized with hip fractures have increased mortality and disability than Caucasian women. There is little published information concerning elderly African- American women and bone mineral density or fracture risk. It is anticipated that inferences concerning hip fracture risk among African- American women can be drawn at the conclusion of this study.

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Duke University
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