Skin thickness does not reflect bone mineral density in postmenopausal women

A J Smeets, J W Kuiper, C van Kuijk, B Berning, A W Zwamborn

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Skin and bone both contain primarily type I collagen in connective tissue matrices and are assumed to be related due to this common organic constituent. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether skin thickness measurements by ultrasound (US) could be used for screening for low bone mass. In 94 healthy, white, non-smoking women, 1-3 years postmenopause, the thickness of the skin of the left upper arm and forearm was measured by ultrasound (US). These measurements were compared with values of bone mineral density (BMD) as measured by quantitative computed tomography (QCT) of the lumbar spine and quantitative video micro-densitometry (QMD) of the hand. The correlation found between US skin thickness measurements and BMD results was of low magnitude and not significant. It is concluded that US measurements of skin thickness cannot be used to screen early postmenopausal women for low bone mass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-5
Number of pages4
JournalOsteoporosis international
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1994


  • Bone Density
  • Bone and Bones
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Journal Article
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Skin
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography

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