Relationship between risk factors and QUS in a European Population: The OPUS study

Alison Stewart, D. Felsenberg, R. Eastell, C. Roux, C. C. Gluer, David M Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


There are many risk factors associated with low bone mineral density. Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) is a generally accepted method for measurement of bone and has been shown to be strongly associated with future fracture risk. The Osteoporosis and Ultrasound Study (OPUS) is a multi-centre European wide study examining 5 different QUS scanners (4 caleancal, I finger device). The aim of this paper was to examine the relationship between risk factors (as assessed by questionnaire) and QUS measurements. 449 younger women (aged 20 to 39 years) and 2283 older women (aged 55 to 79 years) were included in this analysis. As expected, those with a self-reported previous fracture had lower QUS measurements than those without (P < 0.001). However, no significant difference was seen between those reporting a maternal hip fracture and those who did not report such an event. Differences were found for smokers vs. non-smokers for SOS but not for BUA measurements. Weight was positively correlated with all BUA variables but only with some SOS variables. We determined which risk factors were most strongly associated with QUS measurements by using step-wise multiple regression. Models for each QUS measurement were calculated, and the R 2 values ranged from 0.18 to 0.28 for SOS, 0.27 to 0.32 for BUA and 0.31 to 0.42 for the finger QUS device. The most common risk factors across all models were age, use of hormone replacement therapy, self-reported previous fracture, self-reported diagnosis of osteoporosis, current weight, pulse rate and self-reported estimated height at age 20 years. We analysed relationships across the 5 centres and detected some geographical differences in the prevalence of the risk factors. In conclusion, similar relationships are seen with QUS measurements as are found for bone mineral density. However, the strength of the association is dependent on the type of QUS device and variable measured. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-615
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


  • risk factors
  • osteoporosis
  • quantitative ultrasound
  • bone-mineral density
  • band ultrasound attenuation
  • X-Ray absorptiometry
  • rheumatoid-arthritis
  • hip fracture
  • perimenopausal fractures
  • vertebral osteoporosis
  • postmenopausal women
  • replacement therapy


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