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Osteoporos Int. 2005 Dec;16(12):1663-8. Epub 2005 Jul 19.

Bone mineral density reference norms for Hong Kong Chinese.

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Department of Community and Family Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


The aim of this study was to establish bone mineral density (BMD) reference norms for Hong Kong Chinese using Hologic QDR 2000 and 4500 densitometers, and to estimate the prevalence of osteoporosis in the population. Altogether, 4,274 subjects (2,415 females and 1,859 males), aged 9-94 years old, were recruited using a combination of private solicitation and public advertising from schools, community centers, nursing homes, housing estates, and the general community in Hong Kong. Among females, BMD increased by 20% at the total hip and 48% at the lumbar spine between ages 10 and 20 but remained essentially constant between ages 20 and 40. Between ages 40 and 70, BMD declined by 17% at the total hip and 23% at the spine. Total hip BMD continued to drop after age 70 but little change in spine BMD was observed. Among males, BMD increased by 45% at the total hip and 77% at the spine between age 10 and 30. Between ages 30 and 80, total hip BMD decreased by 20%. Lumbar spine BMD decrease was milder, showing a loss of 4% between ages 30 to 50 and remaining relatively constant afterwards. The prevalence of osteoporosis was consistently overestimated when using Hologic-supplied Caucasian cutoffs as compared with local Chinese cutoffs. The prevalence of osteoporosis among Chinese women 50 years or older was 37% and 16% at the spine and total hip, respectively, while that among Chinese men 50 years or older was 7% and 6% at the spine and total hip, respectively. Prior studies have been limited by size or restricted to women. This study represents the largest sample of Hong Kong Chinese amassed to date, provides continuous BMD reference values from ages 10 to 85 for both women and men, and yields more reliable estimates of the prevalence of osteoporosis for the population.

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