Heritability of calcaneal quantitative ultrasound measures in healthy adults from the Fels Longitudinal Study.
ABSTRACT Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) measurements of bone have been reported to predict osteoporotic fracture risk in postmenopausal women and older men. Although many studies have examined the heritability of bone mineral density (BMD), few studies have estimated the heritability of calcaneal QUS phenotypes. In the present study, we examined the genetic regulation of calcaneal QUS parameters in individuals from nuclear and extended families. The study population includes 260 men and 295 women aged 18-91 years (mean+/-SD: 46+/-16 years) who belong to 111 pedigrees in the Fels Longitudinal Study. Three measures of calcaneal structure were collected from both the right and left heel using the Sahara bone sonometer. These measures included broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA), speed of sound (SOS), and the quantitative ultrasound index (QUI). We used a variance components based maximum likelihood method to estimate the heritability of QUS parameters while simultaneously adjusting for covariate effects. Additionally, we used bivariate extensions of these methods to calculate additive genetic and random environmental correlations among QUS measures. All phenotypes demonstrated statistically significant heritabilities (P<0.0000001). Heritabilities in the right heel (h2+/-SE) were h2=0.59+/-0.10 for BUA, h2=0.73+/-0.09 for SOS, and h2=0.72+/-0.09 for QUI. Similarly, heritabilities for the left heel were h2=0.52+/-0.10, h2=0.75+/-0.10, and h2=0.70+/0.10, respectively. There was evidence for significant genetic and environmental correlations among these six QUS measures. Combinations of QUS measures in the right and left heel demonstrated genetic correlations of 0.94-0.99 and all were significantly different from one indicating at least a partially unique genetic architecture for each of these measures. This study demonstrates that QUS measures of the calcaneus among healthy men and women are heritable, and there are large shared additive genetic effects among all of the traits examined.
Article: FokI polymorphism of the vitamin D receptor gene correlates with parameters of bone mass and turnover in a female population of the Italian island of Lampedusa.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: One of the most promising genetic approaches to dissecting a multifactorial disease is represented by genetically isolated population studies. We studied a genetic marker in a cohort of women living on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, a geographically isolated population. Lampedusa, located between the African coast and Sicily, consists of a young genetic isolate (<20 generations) with an exponential growth in the last generations. We analyzed the association between the FokI vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene polymorphism, previously proposed as a predictor of bone mass, with parameters of bone mass and turnover in a cohort of pre- and postmenopausal women living on Lampedusa. In 424 women (277 postmenopausal and 147 premenopausal), allelic frequencies were 49% for the F allele and 51% for the f allele. Using analysis of covariance, we found that subjects with ff genotype exhibited a significantly (P < 0.001) lower lumbar spine bone mass, by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and lower values of bone ultrasonographic parameters (speed of sound and broadband ultrasound attenuation) relative to those with Ff and FF genotypes. Conversely, osteocalcin and serum cross-laps were significantly higher in ff and Ff compared to FF genotype. Our data suggest that FokI VDR polymorphism may contribute to the determination of bone mass and turnover in both pre- and postmenopausal women in this geographically isolated population.Calcified Tissue International 02/2007; 80(1):15-20. · 2.38 Impact Factor
Article: Unique and common genetic effects between bone mineral density and calcaneal quantitative ultrasound measures: the Fels Longitudinal Study.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Areal bone mineral density (BMD) and calcaneal quantitative ultrasound (QUS) measures are correlated, and both traits predict osteoporotic fracture risk independently. However, few studies have examined whether common genetic effects (i.e., pleiotropy) exist between these traits in extended families. In this study, we estimated the additive genetic correlation and random environmental correlation between BMD measured at various skeletal sites and calcaneal QUS measures. Our sample included 537 adults (251 men and 286 women) from 110 families participating in the Fels Longitudinal Study. Total hip, femoral neck, lumbar spine, and total body BMD were measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Three measures of calcaneal structure--broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA), speed of sound (SOS), and quantitative ultrasound index (QUI)--were collected from the non-dominant heel using the Sahara sonometer. Applying a variance components-based maximum likelihood method, we estimated the heritability of each trait and estimated the genetic and environmental correlations between the different BMD and QUS measures. Heritability estimates were significant for all measures of BMD and QUS ranging from 0.55 to 0.78. Significant non-zero genetic correlations were found between the different BMD and QUS measures. All genetic correlations were also significantly different from 1. Genetic correlations between total hip BMD and each of the QUS measures were 0.63 with BUA, 0.50 with SOS, and 0.56 with QUI. For femoral neck BMD, genetic correlations were similar to those between total hip BMD and QUS measures. Genetic correlations between BMD of the lumbar spine and QUS measures ranged from 0.34 to 0.38, and those between total body BMD and QUS measures, from 0.51 to 0.54. In contrast, all random environmental correlations were not significantly different from zero. This study demonstrates that BMD and calcaneal QUS measures among healthy men and women are significantly heritable and are, in part, jointly influenced by a common set of underlying genes. Additionally, this study also provides evidence for a unique set of genes that independently influences each individual trait.Osteoporosis International 02/2006; 17(6):865-71. · 4.58 Impact Factor