Author(s): Rao AD, Reddy S, Rao DS
Because of the known differences in bone mineral density (BMD) of the dominant and nondominant forearms, it has been customary to measure BMD of the nondominant forearm to reduce variance. However, it is less clear whether such systematic differences exist between BMD of the two hips. Accordingly, we measured BMD of both hips and the spine in 131 consecutive white women who presented to a community based private practitioner for evaluation and advice on osteoporosis. There was a highly significant correlation between BMD of the two hips at the femoral neck, trochanter, and Ward's triangle (r = 0.91, 0.93, and 0.89; p < 0.0001 for all three sites), and also between BMD at various measurement sites in the hip and the spine BMD (p < 0.0001). Although, there was no significant difference between the right and left femoral neck BMD, there were small (approximately 1-2.5%) but significant differences between BMD of the two hips at the trochanter and Ward's triangle (p = 0.008 and 0. 005, respectively). The left hip BMD was consistently higher than the right hip BMD at all measurement sites. Because of the small sample size of the left-handed persons, we were unable to determine the influence of dominant handedness on hip BMD. We concluded the following: (1) BMDs of the two hips are highly correlated at relevant measurement sites; (2) there does not appear to be a dominant hip as there is dominant forearm; (3) because of strong agreement between BMD of the two hips there is little justification to measure both hips in routine clinical practice.