01.12.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2019
Ethnic differences in bone mineral density among midlife women in a multi-ethnic Southeast Asian cohort
Archives of Osteoporosis
- Win Pa Pa Thu, Susan J. S. Logan, Jane A. Cauley, Michael S. Kramer, Eu Leong Yong
Chinese Singaporean middle-aged women have significantly lower femoral neck bone mineral density and higher lumbar spine bone mineral density than Malays and Indians, after adjustment for age, body mass index, and height.
Information regarding mediators of differences in bone mineral density (BMD) among Asian ethnicities are limited. Since the majority of hip fractures are predicted to be from Asia, differences in BMD in Asian ethnicities require further exploration. We compared BMD among the Chinese, Malay, or Indian ethnicities in Singapore, aiming to identify potential mediators for the observed differences.
BMD of 1201 women aged 45–69 years was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. We examined the associations between ethnicity and BMD at both sites, before and after adjusting for potential mediators measured using standardized questionnaires and validated performance tests.
Chinese women had significantly lower femoral neck BMD than Malay and Indian women. Of the more than 20 variables examined, age, body mass index, and height accounted for almost all the observed ethnic differences in femoral neck BMD between Chinese and Malays. However, Indian women still retained 0.047 g/cm2 (95% CI, 0.024, 0.071) higher femoral neck BMD after adjustment, suggesting that additional factors may contribute to the increased BMD in Indians. Although no crude ethnic differences in lumbar spine BMD were observed, adjusted regression model unmasked ethnic differences, wherein Chinese women had 0.061(95% CI, − 0.095, 0.026) and 0.065 (95% CI, − 0.091, 0.038) g/cm2 higher lumbar spine BMD compared to Malay and Indian women, respectively.
BMD in middle-aged Asian women differ by ethnicity and site. Particular attention should be paid to underweight women of Chinese ethnic origin, who may be at highest risk of osteoporosis at the femoral neck and hence hip fractures.