AIMS--To define the iliac crest histomorphometry of static variables in 234 individuals aged 16-100 years (91 men, 143 women) and of dynamic variables in 84 individuals aged 19-94 years (33 men, 51 women) from the North West of England. METHODS--Iliac crest biopsy specimens were sectioned, undecalcified, and examined using image analysis. RESULTS--The decrease in the quantity of cortical and trabecular bone and the connectivity of trabecular bone was more pronounced in women than men. This was associated with a reduction in bone formation and increased bone resorption which was greater in women at both the tissue and cellular level. Some of these histomorphometric differences first became evident at the natural menopause, and therefore provide clues as to the cause of the high prevalence of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. CONCLUSIONS--These results show an age and sex dependent variation both in static and dynamic parameters, which differ, in some respects, from other studies and confirm the need for large regional studies to provide a database of normal morphometric results for a specific population.
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