Predictors of Bone Status by Quantitative Ultrasound Measurements in a Mountain Village in Japan

Tsuyoshi Tajika*, Atsushi Yamamoto, Takashi Ohsawa, Noboru Oya, Haku Iizuka, Kenji Takagishi
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Gunma, Japan, 3-39-22, Showa-machi, Maebashi, Gunma 371-8511, Japan

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© Tajika et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-39-22, Showa-machi, Maebashi, Gunma 371-8511, Japan; Tel: 81-27-220-8269; Fax: 81-27-220-8270; E-mail:



It seems to be important to recognize predictors of bone health condition in Japanese super-aged society. The purpose of this study was to investigate predictors of the speed of sound (SOS) of calcaneus by quantitative ultrasound measurements of mountain village residents.

Materials and Methods:

Medical examinations were conducted on 214 participants (69 men, 145 women; average age of 63.6 years). Each had completed a self-administered questionnaire including items such as gender, dominant hand, occupation, and history of smoking and drinking alcohol, experience of falls, and the EuroQol-5-dimensions-3-level Japanese version and a 25-question geriatric locomotive function scale proposed by the Japanese Orthopaedic Association. Bilateral grip and key pinch strength were measured. The SOS of calcaneus was assessed using ultrasound bone densitometry. Body composition was measured using a multi-frequency segmental body composition analyzer. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient was calculated to elucidate the relation between SOS and evaluation items. Stepwise logistic regression was used to identify predictors of SOS using the investigated factors as explanatory variables. P values of < .05 were regarded as statistically significant.


Significant positive correlation was found between the SOS and dominant and non-dominant grip and key pinch strength and Euro index and QOL VAS in all participants. In stepwise logistic regression, non-dominant key pinch (β coefficient= 0.27, p= .022) and Euro QOL VAS (β coefficient= 0.24, p= .0001) were predictors of calcaneal SOS for all participants.


Key pinch strength and Euro QOL VAS assessment might be useful to predict calcaneal SOS in the general population.

Keywords: Bone Quality, Calcaneus, Handgrip, Key Pinch, Osteoporosis, Quality of Life.