Prevalence and risk factors of low bone mineral density with quantitative ultrasonography among south Indian postmenopausal women

Sudha Bala, M. L. S. Prabha, T. Prasanna Krishna


Background: With increasing population and longevity of postmenopausal women, osteoporosis is becoming a public health concern. Community based studies regarding prevalence of low bone mineral density and related risk factors are limited in India. Objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of low bone mineral density among postmenopausal women using qualitative ultrasound method and to assess related risk factors.

Methods: This community based study comprised of 260 postmenopausal women aged 41-70 years living in rural and urban areas of Hyderabad, South India. A two stage simple random sampling technique was used. Data was collected on socio-demographic characteristics, fracture history, family history of fracture and osteoporosis, nutritional factors, lifestyle, personal and reproductive history from each subject. Bone mineral density was assessed by the speed of sound (m/sec) using a quantitative ultrasound device at distal forearm site. Descriptive statistics and frequency were generated for socio-demographic data. Risk factors were compared using Chi-square test for categorical variables on univariate analysis. Binary logistic regression model was used to identify significant factors independently associated with the low bone mineral density measurement

Results: The mean age at menopause was 44.7±5.4 and 44.9±5.2 years in rural and urban areas respectively. Osteopenia was present in 16% and 38% of rural and urban study subjects. Osteoporosis in 51% and 35% of rural and urban study subjects respectively. Significant independent risk factors for low bone mineral density were parity, duration following menopause and intake of calcium poor food.

Conclusions: The high prevalence of low bone mineral density among postmenopausal women in South India is a major public health concern which is amenable for prevention.


Low bone mineral density, Osteoporosis, Post menopause, Ultrasonics, Risk factors

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