Low bone mineral density (BMD) is associated with increased mortality risk, yet the impact of BMD loss on mortality is relatively unknown. We hypothesized that greater BMD loss is associated with increased mortality risk in older men. Change in femoral neck BMD was assessed in 4400 Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) study participants with two to three repeat dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans over an average of 4.6 ± 0.4 (mean ± SD) years. Change in femoral neck BMD was estimated using mixed effects models; men were grouped into three categories of BMD change: maintenance (n = 1087; change ≥ 0 g/cm2); expected loss (n = 2768; change between 0 g/cm2 and <1 SD below mean change [>-0.034 g/cm2]); and accelerated loss (n = 545; change 1 SD below mean change or worse [≤-0.034 g/cm2]). Multivariate proportional hazards models adjusted for potential confounders estimated the risk of all-cause mortality over 8.1 ± 2.8 years following visit 2. Mortality was centrally adjudicated by physician review of death certificates. At visit 1, mean age was 72.9 ± 5.5 years. Men who maintained BMD were less likely to die during the subsequent follow-up period (33.7%) than men who had accelerated BMD loss (60.6%) (p < 0.001). Compared to men who had maintained BMD, those who had accelerated BMD loss had a 44% greater risk of mortality in multivariate-adjusted models (HR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.23 to 1.68). Compared to men who had maintained BMD, there was no significant difference in mortality risk for men with expected loss of BMD (36.9% died) (multivariate HR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.89 to 1.13). Further adjustment for visit 1 or visit 2 BMD measurement did not substantially alter these associations. Results for total hip BMD were similar. In conclusion, accelerated loss of BMD at the hip is a risk factor for mortality in men that is not explained by comorbidity burden, concurrent change in weight, or physical activity.
Bone Loss at the Hip and Subsequent Mortality in Older Men: The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study.