Age, time since menopause, and body parameters as determinants of female spinal bone mass: A mathematical model

Carlo Trevisan, Sergio Ortolani, Maria Luisa Bianchi, Maria Pia Caraceni, Fabio Massimo Ulivieri, Giorgio Gandolini, Elio E. Polli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The study of mathematical models to describe bone mass behavior throughout life is a possibility for assessing the main factors of peak bone mass and bone loss. We developed a mathematical model to predict spinal bone mass behavior on a sample of 181 healthy Italian women whose lumbar bone mineral content was determined by Gd-153 dual photon absorptiometry. This model proved to be both efficient, showing the best fit (r=0.7 on spinal bone mineral content) when compared to other previously suggested models, and also reliable as its fit remained the best when applied to a subsequent sample of 519 women whose lumbar spine was measured by dual X-ray photon absorptiometry. This model suggests that body height and body weight (but not age) are determinants of bone mass in premenopausal women. In postmenopausal women, an accelerated phase of bone loss starting at menopause is dependent on age and time since menopause, whereas body mass index acts as a protective factor. This model confirms the influence on spinal bone mass not only of age and time since menopause but also of body size parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1991



  • Absorptiometry
  • Aging
  • Bone mass
  • Lumbar spine
  • Menopause
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Cite this