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Maturitas. 1999 Aug 16;32(3):171-8.

The prevalence of osteoporosis in the Hong Kong Chinese female population.

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  • 1Department of Community and Family Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, NT., PR China.



This paper aims to present population-based age-related bone mass values in the Hong Kong Chinese female population, and to assess the number and proportion of Chinese women considered osteoporotic according to the WHO diagnostic guidelines.


A total of 769 community-based female subjects were recruited. Social demographic characteristics of these subjects were similar to the Hong Kong general population. All bone mass measurements were performed by means of a dual energy X-ray densitometry (Norland XR 26) at two sites: lumbar vertebrae L2-L4 and left hip. These values were expressed as T-scores, with reference to the mean bone mineral density (BMD) values of the group aged 21-40 years.


The study revealed that, in women aged 60 years and above, their mean BMD values are 30% lower than the young normal mean. The prevalence of osteoporosis at the spine increased dramatically from about 10% in the age group 50-59 to 45% in the group aged 60-69. In women aged 70 onwards, over half have osteoporosis at the hip. The prevalence of osteoporosis at the spine is relatively stable in the age groups above 60, while that for osteoporosis at the hip increased exponentially with age.


The prevalence of osteoporosis in Hong Kong women is comparable to that found in Caucasian populations. Prevention of osteoporosis, involving both immediate and long-term measures, and targeting at different age groups, are required to combat this serious public health problem in Hong Kong.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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