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1.  The high bone mass phenotype is characterised by a combined cortical and trabecular bone phenotype: Findings from a pQCT case–control study☆ 
Bone  2013;52(1):380-388.
High bone mass (HBM), detected in 0.2% of DXA scans, is characterised by a mild skeletal dysplasia largely unexplained by known genetic mutations. We conducted the first systematic assessment of the skeletal phenotype in unexplained HBM using pQCT in our unique HBM population identified from screening routine UK NHS DXA scans.
pQCT measurements from the mid and distal tibia and radius in 98 HBM cases were compared with (i) 65 family controls (constituting unaffected relatives and spouses), and (ii) 692 general population controls.
HBM cases had substantially greater trabecular density at the distal tibia (340 [320, 359] mg/cm3), compared to both family (294 [276, 312]) and population controls (290 [281, 299]) (p < 0.001 for both, adjusted for age, gender, weight, height, alcohol, smoking, malignancy, menopause, steroid and estrogen replacement use). Similar results were obtained at the distal radius. Greater cortical bone mineral density (cBMD) was observed in HBM cases, both at the midtibia and radius (adjusted p < 0.001). Total bone area (TBA) was higher in HBM cases, at the distal and mid tibia and radius (adjusted p < 0.05 versus family controls), suggesting greater periosteal apposition. Cortical thickness was increased at the mid tibia and radius (adjusted p < 0.001), implying reduced endosteal expansion. Together, these changes resulted in greater predicted cortical strength (strength strain index [SSI]) in both tibia and radius (p < 0.001). We then examined relationships with age; tibial cBMD remained constant with increasing age amongst HBM cases (adjusted β − 0.01 [− 0.02, 0.01], p = 0.41), but declined in family controls (− 0.05 [− 0.03, − 0.07], p < 0.001) interaction p = 0.002; age-related changes in tibial trabecular BMD, CBA and SSI were also divergent. In contrast, at the radius HBM cases and controls showed parallel age-related declines in cBMD and trabecular BMD.
HBM is characterised by increased trabecular BMD and by alterations in cortical bone density and structure, leading to substantial increments in predicted cortical bone strength. In contrast to the radius, neither trabecular nor cortical BMD declined with age in the tibia of HBM cases, suggesting attenuation of age-related bone loss in weight-bearing limbs contributes to the observed bone phenotype.
Highlights
► High Bone Mass (HBM) is characterised by increased bone size, cortical BMD, cortical thickness and increased strength strain index. ► In HBM, trabecular density is also increased at both the distal radius and tibia. ► Tibial cortical and trabecular BMD decline with age in controls, but not in HBM implying attenuation of age-related loss. ► Similar differences in age-related bone loss are not seen at the radius, suggesting a possible interaction with weight-bearing.
doi:10.1016/j.bone.2012.10.021
PMCID: PMC3526774  PMID: 23103330
HBM, high bone mass; NHS, National Health Service; pQCT, peripheral quantitative computed tomography; OA, osteoarthritis; L1, 1st lumbar vertebra; cBMD, cortical bone mineral density; tBMD, trabecular bone mineral density; TBA, total bone area; CBA, cortical bone area; SSI, strength strain index; SD, standard deviation; PVE, partial volume effect; High bone mass; pQCT; Cortical; Trabecular; Age; BMD
2.  Genetic markers of bone and joint health and physical capability in older adults: the HALCyon programme 
Bone  2013;52(1):278-285.
Background
Good bone and joint health is essential for the physical tasks of daily living and poorer indicators of physical capability in older adults have been associated with increased mortality rates. Genetic variants of indicators of bone and joint health may be associated with measures of physical capability.
Methods
As part of the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) programme, men and women aged between 52 and 90 + years from six UK cohorts were genotyped for a polymorphism associated with serum calcium (rs1801725, CASR), two polymorphisms associated with bone mineral density (BMD) (rs2941740, ESR1 and rs9594759, RANKL) and one associated with osteoarthritis risk rs3815148 (COG5). Meta-analysis was used to pool within-study effects of the associations between each of the polymorphisms and measures of physical capability: grip strength, timed walk or get up and go, chair rises and standing balance.
Results
Few important associations were observed among the several tests. We found that carriers of the serum calcium-raising allele had poorer grip strength compared with non-carriers (pooled p = 0.05, n = 11,239) after adjusting for age and sex. Inconsistent results were observed for the two variants associated with BMD and we found no evidence for an association between rs3815148 (COG5) and any of the physical capability measures.
Conclusion
Our findings suggest elevated serum calcium levels may lead to lower grip strength, though this requires further replication. Our results do not provide evidence for a substantial influence of these variants in ESR1, RANKL and COG5 on physical capability in older adults.
Highlights
► We examined associations between bone-related genotypes and physical capability. ► We conducted a meta-analysis on 12,836 middle-age adults. ► We found CASR may be associated with grip strength. ► No substantial support for specific bone mineral density variants and physical capability.
doi:10.1016/j.bone.2012.10.004
PMCID: PMC3526776  PMID: 23072920
BMD, bone mineral density; OA, osteoarthritis; BMI, body mass index; SNP, single nucleotide polymorphism; CaPS, Caerphilly Prospective Study; ELSA, English Longitudinal Study of Ageing; HAS, Hertfordshire Ageing Study; HCS, Hertfordshire Cohort Study; LBC1921, The Lothian Birth Cohort 1921; NSHD, National Survey of Health and Development; HWE, Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium; WHR, waist–hip ratio; GWAS, genome-wide association studies; Aging; Grip strength; Calcium; Bone mineral density; Osteoarthritis
3.  Growth in early life predicts bone strength in late adulthood 
Bone  2007;41(3):400-405.
Infant growth is a determinant of adult bone mass, and poor childhood growth is a risk factor for adult hip fracture. Peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) allows non-invasive assessment of bone strength. We utilised this technology to examine relationships between growth in early life and bone strength.
We studied 313 men and 318 women born in Hertfordshire between 1931-39 who were still resident there in adult life, for whom detailed early life records were available. Lifestyle factors were evaluated by questionnaire, anthropometric measurements made, and peripheral QCT examination of the radius and tibia performed (Stratec 4500).
Birthweight and conditional weight at one year were strongly related to radial and tibial length in both sexes (p<0.001), and to measures of bone strength [fracture load X, fracture load Y, polar strength strain index (SSI)] at both the radius and tibia. These relationships were robust to adjustment for age, body mass index (BMI), social class, cigarette and alcohol consumption, physical activity, dietary calcium intake, HRT use and menopausal status in women. Among men, BMI was strongly positively associated with radial (r=0.46, p=0.001) and tibial (r=0.24, p=0.006) trabecular bone mineral density (BMD). Current smoking was associated with lower cortical (radius: p=0.0002; tibia: p=0.08) and trabecular BMD (radius: p=0.08; tibia: p=0.04) in males. Similar trends of BMD with these anthropometric and lifestyle variables were seen in women but they were non-significant. Current HRT use was associated with greater female cortical (radius: p=0.0002; tibia: p=0.001) and trabecular (radius: p=0.008; tibia: p=0.04) BMD. Current HRT use was also associated with greater radial strength (polar SSI: p=0.006; fracture load x: p=0.005; fracture load y: p=0.02) in women. Women who had sustained any fracture since the age of 45 years had lower radial total (p=0.0001), cortical (p<0.005) and trabecular (p=0.0002) BMD, poorer forearm bone strength [polar SSI (p=0.006), fracture load X & Y (p=0.02)], and lower tibial total (p<0.001), cortical (p=0.008) and trabecular (p=0.0001) BMD.
We have shown that growth in early life is associated with bone size and strength in a UK population aged 65-73 years. Lifestyle factors were associated with volumetric bone density in this population.
doi:10.1016/j.bone.2007.05.007
PMCID: PMC2080691  PMID: 17599849
Bone; Strength; Density; Programming; Epidemiology
4.  Growth in early life predicts bone strength in late adulthood: The Hertfordshire Cohort Study 
Bone  2007;41(3):400-405.
Infant growth is a determinant of adult bone mass, and poor childhood growth is a risk factor for adult hip fracture. Peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) allows non-invasive assessment of bone strength. We utilised this technology to examine relationships between growth in early life and bone strength.
We studied 313 men and 318 women born in Hertfordshire between 1931 and 1939 who were still resident there in adult life, for whom detailed early life records were available. Lifestyle factors were evaluated by questionnaire, anthropometric measurements made, and peripheral QCT examination of the radius and tibia performed (Stratec 4500).
Birthweight and conditional weight at 1 year were strongly related to radial and tibial length in both sexes (p < 0.001) and to measures of bone strength [fracture load X, fracture load Y, polar strength strain index (SSI)] at both the radius and tibia. These relationships were robust to adjustment for age, body mass index (BMI), social class, cigarette and alcohol consumption, physical activity, dietary calcium intake, HRT use, and menopausal status in women. Among men, BMI was strongly positively associated with radial (r = 0.46, p = 0.001) and tibial (r = 0.24, p = 0.006) trabecular bone mineral density (BMD). Current smoking was associated with lower cortical (radius: p = 0.0002; tibia: p = 0.08) and trabecular BMD (radius: p = 0.08; tibia: p = 0.04) in males. Similar trends of BMD with these anthropometric and lifestyle variables were seen in women but they were non-significant. Current HRT use was associated with greater female cortical (radius: p = 0.0002; tibia: p = 0.001) and trabecular (radius: p = 0.008; tibia: p = 0.04) BMD. Current HRT use was also associated with greater radial strength (polar SSI: p = 0.006; fracture load X: p = 0.005; fracture load Y: p = 0.02) in women. Women who had sustained any fracture since the age of 45 years had lower radial total (p = 0.0001), cortical (p < 0.005) and trabecular (p = 0.0002) BMD, poorer forearm bone strength [polar SSI (p = 0.006), fracture load X and Y (p = 0.02)], and lower tibial total (p < 0.001), cortical (p = 0.008), and trabecular (p = 0.0001) BMD.
We have shown that growth in early life is associated with bone size and strength in a UK population aged 65–73 years. Lifestyle factors were associated with volumetric bone density in this population.
doi:10.1016/j.bone.2007.05.007
PMCID: PMC2080691  PMID: 17599849
Bone; Strength; Density; Programming; Epidemiology

Results 1-4 (4)