Bone mass and anthropometric measurements in adult females

Charles W. Slemenda, Siu L. Hui, Christopher J. Williams, Joe C. Christian, F. John Meaney, C. Conrad Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations


Bone mass and anthropometrics were measured in 342 adult female twins, aged 25-79 (mean = 44.1 years) for the purpose of: (1) identifying which anthropometric measurements were most strongly associated with bone mass at various skeletal sites, and (2) determining the accuracy of combinations of these measurements in the prediction of bone mass. Among the eight skinfolds measured, the subscapular site was more strongly correlated with all bone mass measurements than any other skinfold. Similarly, calf circumference (among four sites) and biacromial width (among five frame size measurements) provided the strongest correlations within these groups of anthropometrics with all bone sites. The somewhat surprising consistency of these results was then tested in multivariable models for the prediction of bone mass. For the entire study group, each of the anthropometric measurements (subscapular skinfold, calf circumference and biacromial width) were independent, significant predictors of bone mass, even when height, weight and age were included in the models. These data suggest that frame size, muscularity and adiposity have independent effects on the skeleton, and that single measurements of each of these anthropometric characteristics are associated with all skeletal sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalBone and Mineral
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1990


  • Adiposity
  • Bone mass
  • Distribution of body fat
  • Frame size
  • Muscularity
  • Twins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Surgery

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  • Cite this

    Slemenda, C. W., Hui, S. L., Williams, C. J., Christian, J. C., Meaney, F. J., & Johnston, C. C. (1990). Bone mass and anthropometric measurements in adult females. Bone and Mineral, 11(1), 101-109.