Higher-Impact Physical Activity Is Associated With Maintenance of Bone Mineral Density But Not Reduced Incident Falls or Fractures in Older Men: The Concord Health and Aging in Men Project

Carrie Anne Ng, David Scott, Markus J. Seibel, Robert G. Cumming, Vasi Naganathan, Fiona M. Blyth, David G. Le Couteur, Louise M. Waite, David J. Handelsman, Vasant Hirani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

High-impact physical activities with bone strains of high magnitude and frequency may benefit bone health. This study aimed to investigate the longitudinal associations between changes in loading intensities and application rates, estimated from self-reported physical activity, with bone mineral density (BMD) changes over 5 years and also with incident falls over 2 years and long-term incident fractures in community-dwelling older men. A total of 1599 men (mean age 76.8 ± 5.4 years) from the Concord Health and Aging in Men Project (CHAMP) were assessed at baseline (2005–2007) and at 2- and 5-year follow-up. At each time point, hip and lumbar spine BMD were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and physical activity energy expenditure over the past week was self-reported via the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) questionnaire. Sum effective load ratings (ELRs) and peak force were estimated from the PASE questionnaire, reflecting the total and highest loading intensity and application rate of physical activities, respectively. Participants were contacted every 4 months over 2 years to self-report falls and over 6.0 ± 2.2 years for fractures. Hip fractures were ascertained by data linkage for 8.9 ± 3.6 years. Compared with sum ELR and PASE scores, peak force demonstrated the greatest standardized effect size for BMD maintenance at the spine (β = 9.77 mg/cm2), total hip (β = 14.14 mg/cm2), and femoral neck (β = 13.72 mg/cm2) after adjustment for covariates, including PASE components (all p <.01). Only PASE scores were significantly associated with reduced falls risk (standardized incident rate ratio = 0.90, 95% confidence interval 0.81–1.00, p =.04). All physical activity measures were significantly associated with reduced incident fractures in univariate analyses, but none remained significant after multivariable adjustments. Older men who engaged in physical activity of high and rapid impact maintained higher BMD, while higher energy expenditure was associated with reduced falls risk. Coupling traditional physical activity data with bone loading estimates may improve understanding of the relationships between physical activity and bone health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662–672
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • AGING
  • EXERCISE
  • FRACTURE PREVENTION
  • GENERAL POPULATION STUDIES
  • OSTEOPOROSIS

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