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Determinants of bone mineral density in Chinese-American women

Walker, M D; Babbar, R; Opotowsky, A; McMahon, D J; Liu, G; Bilezikian, J P
Summary: Few data are available regarding bone mineral density (BMD) and its determinants among Chinese Americans. We identified determinants of BMD among 359 Chinese-American women in order to identify risk factors for low BMD in this burgeoning population. BMD in Chinese-American women is influenced by a number of factors, including immigration. INTRODUCTION: Osteoporosis and low BMD are common among Chinese women, including Chinese Americans, who are a growing population at risk for osteoporosis in the US. Few data are available regarding BMD and its determinants among Chinese-American women. METHODS: In this study, we examined predictors of BMD in 359 ambulatory Chinese-American women, ages 20-90, using stepwise multiple regression analysis. Variables in the model included age, weight, height, menarche age, years since menopause, immigration age, years in US, percentage of life in US, number of pregnancies, oral contraceptive use, family history of osteoporosis, family history of hip fracture, daily calcium intake, exercise, time outdoors, alcohol consumption and tobacco use. RESULTS: Among premenopausal women, weight was the strongest predictor of BMD, accounting for 10.5% of the variance at the lumbar spine (LS), 15.2% at the total hip (TH) and 16.6% at the femoral neck (FN). Time outdoors was also a positive predictor of BMD (1.4% at LS, 2.8% at TH and 1.6% at FN), while family history of osteoporosis (1.4% at TH) and age (3.7% at FN) were negative predictors. Among postmenopausal women, greater BMD at the LS and TH was associated with greater weight and earlier immigration age. Weight accounted for 16.4% of the variance at the LS and 19.8% at the TH; immigration age accounted for 3.1% of the variance at the LS and 4.1% at the TH. At the FN, years since menopause and weight were predictors of BMD, accounting for 14.4% and 8.7% of the variance, respectively. While older age at immigration had a negative effect on BMD, years in and proportion of life in the United States were not significant predictors of BMD. CONCLUSIONS: Bone mineral density in Chinese-American women is influenced by a number of biological and lifestyle factors, including immigration. The results of this study provide new insights into risk factors for low bone density as they relate to environmental determinants in the growing population of Chinese-American women.
PMID: 17120181
ISSN: 0937-941x
CID: 1071312

Bone health of immigrant Chinese women living in New York City

Babbar, Rajeev K; Handa, Anuj B; Lo, Chung-man; Guttmacher, Sally J; Shindledecker, Richard; Chung, Waiwah; Fong, Cathy; Ho-Asjoe, Henrietta; Chan-Ting, Rengina; Dixon, L Beth
Osteoporosis is a serious national and global public health problem, but data on bone health are limited for Asian women living in the U.S., the majority of whom are Chinese. For this study, we measured bone mineral density (BMD) by dual energy X-ray densitometry (DXA) at the lumbar spine and hip region in 300 immigrant Chinese women, ages 40-90 y, living in New York City. We also collected demographic and health data, information about knowledge and care for osteoporosis, and anthropometric measures, and estimated calcium intake from the women. In our sample, 55% had osteoporosis and 38% had low bone mass (osteopenia). Older age, lower body mass index (BMI), and shorter height were associated with lower BMD at all sites. Years lived in the U.S. and number of children were also associated with lower BMD of the lumbar spine. Chinese women who emigrated from Mainland China had lower BMD at the lumbar spine and femoral neck than Chinese women who emigrated from Hong Kong, after adjusting for potential confounders. Both groups of immigrant women had lower BMD at all sites than a national sample of U.S. Caucasian women. Although the women in our study had generally poor knowledge about osteoporosis, most could identify at least one food rich in calcium. The large number of immigrant Chinese women in New York City with osteoporosis calls for major efforts to increase awareness, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of this condition in this susceptible population.
PMID: 16482763
ISSN: 0094-5145
CID: 755452

A referent bone mineral density database for Chinese American women

Walker, M Donovan; Babbar, R; Opotowsky, A R; Rohira, A; Nabizadeh, F; Badia, M Della; Chung, W; Chiang, J; Mediratta, A; McMahon, D; Liu, G; Bilezikian, J P
INTRODUCTION: While osteoporosis is common among women of Chinese descent, a readily available bone mineral density (BMD) referent database for Chinese American women does not exist. Fracture risk among this population is currently assessed using a Caucasian reference as well as diagnostic criteria for osteoporosis developed for postmenopausal Caucasian women. Many studies indicate that there are important racial differences in skeletal health and fracture risk, an observation that makes the application of Caucasian data to all groups problematical. This study was undertaken to establish a BMD referent database in Chinese American women and to compare it with a Caucasian female database. It is expected that a race-specific database will be useful in the assessment of bone health for Chinese American women. METHODS: Healthy Chinese American women (n=359), ages 20-90, were recruited. Along with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) of the total hip and lumbar spine, demographic, medical, familial, nutritional, and behavioral data were obtained. The mean and standard deviation for BMD at each site was calculated for each 10-year age group and compared to mean BMD values for Caucasian women supplied as found in the Hologic DXA instrument. Osteoporosis diagnosis rates for this cohort, calculated with the Caucasian and newly established Chinese American BMD referent values, were compared with each other. RESULTS: Compared with Caucasian women, Chinese American women have significantly lower BMD at the lumbar spine, total hip, and femoral neck across a wide spectrum of age groups. As a consequence, more than one-half of Chinese American women>or=50 years of age, who would be characterized as osteoporotic using a Caucasian referent, would not be diagnosed as such if a Chinese American referent were utilized. CONCLUSION: Chinese American reference BMD values are significantly lower than those for Caucasian women. Future studies relating Chinese American BMD values to fracture risk are necessary in order to determine if ethnic database-derived T-scores would be more predictive of fracture risk and to develop meaningful diagnostic criteria for this population.
PMID: 16538554
ISSN: 0937-941x
CID: 1071302