Table of Contents
Epidemiology Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 408316, 11 pages
Research Article

Determinants of Bone Strength Estimated by Calcaneal Ultrasonography in Inuit Women from Nuuk (Greenland)

1Axe Santé des Populations et Pratiques Optimales en Santé, Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 2M2
2Laboratoire de Toxicologie, Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec, 945 Avenue Wolfe, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 5B3
3Center of Primary Health Care, Queen Ingrid’s Hospital and Greenland Center for Health Research, University of Greenland, Nuuk 3900, Greenland
4Medical Centre, Dronning Ingrids Hospital, Nuuk 3900, Greenland

Received 22 October 2013; Revised 19 January 2014; Accepted 19 February 2014; Published 27 March 2014

Academic Editor: Noriko Yoshimura

Copyright © 2014 Alexandra-Cristina Paunescu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study was conducted to identify determinants of bone strength estimated by quantitative ultrasonography (QUS) at the calcaneus of Greenlandic Inuit women. A total of 153 Inuit women from Nuuk, aged from 49 to 64 years, participated in the first QUS measurement (year 2000) with an Achilles Lunar instrument (speed of sound (SOS); broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA); stiffness index (SI)). A second measurement was performed two years later (year 2002) in 121 participants. Several factors known to be associated with bone strength were recorded at baseline for 118 of them. Determinants of QUS parameters were identified using an automatic (stepwise) selection of variables in linear regression. Significant determinants of baseline QUS measurements were age and body weight for all QUS parameters, height for BUA and SI, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) use for SI. Significant predictors of follow-up QUS measurements were baseline QUS values, the smoking status and HRT use for all QUS parameters, omega-3/omega-6 PUFA content ratio of erythrocytes membrane phospholipids (BUA and SI), and menopausal status (BUA). Several modifiable dietary factors, such as a diet rich in omega-3 PUFAs and lifestyle factors (i.e., smoking, taking HRT), were shown to determine QUS parameters after a follow-up of two years.