Send to

Choose Destination
J Bone Miner Metab. 2013 Mar;31(2):190-8. doi: 10.1007/s00774-012-0402-0. Epub 2012 Nov 10.

Racial/ethnic differences in bone mineral density among older women.

Author information

Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Research Institute for Medical Sciences, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, South Korea.


The epidemiologic information regarding international differences in bone mineral density (BMD) in women is currently insufficient. We compared BMD in older women across five racial/ethnic groups in four countries. The femoral neck, total hip, and lumbar spine BMD were measured in women (aged 65-74 years) from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF) (5,035 Caucasian women and 256 African American women in the US), the Tobago Women's Health Study (116 Afro-Caribbean women), the Ms Os Hong Kong Study (794 Hong Kong Chinese women) and the Namwon Study (1,377 South Korean women). BMD was corrected according to the cross-site calibration results for all scanners. When compared with US Caucasian women, the age adjusted mean BMD measurements at the hip sites were 21-31 % higher among Tobago Afro-Caribbean women and 13-23 % higher among African American women. The total hip and spine BMD values were 4-5 % lower among Hong Kong Chinese women and 4-7 % lower among South Korean women compared to US Caucasians. The femoral neck BMD was similar in Hong Kong Chinese women, but higher among South Korean women compared to US Caucasians. Current/past estrogen use was a significant contributing factor to the difference in BMD between US versus non-US women. Differences in body weight partially explained the difference in BMD between Asian versus non-Asian women. These findings show substantial racial/ethnic differences in BMD even within African or Asian origin individuals, and highlight the contributing role of body weight and estrogen use to the geographic and racial/ethnic variation in BMD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center