Age-related changes in trabecular width and spacing have been examined in iliac crest bone obtained from 96 normal subjects. The mean trabecular plate density and separation were calculated from values of trabecular bone volume and mean trabecular plate thickness. There was an age-related decrease in mean trabecular plate thickness with age in both sexes; this was statistically significant in males (P <0.02) but not in females. In females, there was a significant decrease in mean trabecular plate density (P < 0.001) and increase in mean trabecular plate separation (P <0.001); similar but non-significant trends were observed in the males. These results demonstrate that trabecular thinning contributes to age-related bone loss in both sexes. Loss of trabeculae also occurs in both sexes, but to a greater extent in females than in males.
Keywords: Trabecular bone; Ageing; Microanatomic structure; Trabecular width; Trabecular spacing; Bone loss