Stieglitz, Jonathan, Trumble, Benjamin C., Finch, Caleb Ellicott, Li, Dong, Budoff, Matthew, Kaplan, Hillard and Gurven, Michael (2019) Computed tomography shows high fracture prevalence among physically active forager-horticulturalists with high fertility. eLife.

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Identification Number : 10.7554/eLife.48607


Modern humans have more fragile skeletons than other hominins, which may result from physical inactivity. Here we test whether reproductive effort also compromises bone strength, by measuring using computed tomography thoracic vertebral bone mineral density (BMD) and fracture prevalence among physically active Tsimane forager-horticulturalists. Earlier onset of reproduction and shorter interbirth intervals are associated with reduced BMD for women. Tsimane BMD is lower versus Americans, but only for women, contrary to simple predictions relying on inactivity to explain skeletal fragility. Minimal BMD differences exist between Tsimane and American men, suggesting that systemic factors other than fertility (e.g. diet) do not easily explain Tsimane women's lower BMD. Tsimane fracture prevalence is also higher versus Americans. Lower BMD increases Tsimane fracture risk, but only for women, suggesting a role of weak bone in women's fracture etiology. Our results highlight the role of sex-specific mechanisms underlying skeletal fragility that operate long before menopause.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: August 2019
Refereed: Yes
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2019 13:46
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2023 08:22
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