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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


FRAZAO, Paulo  and  NAVEIRA, Miguel. Factors associated with low bone mineral density among white women. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.5, pp.740-748. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze whether the factors causing low bone mineral density among elderly women are the same as those observed in other age groups. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out on the medical records of a random sample of 413 white women seen at an imaging diagnostics service in a city of Southern Brazil, in 2003. Femoral bone mineral densities with adjustment using T-scores were used. The following variables were investigated: age, body mass index, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, milk consumption, physical activity and hormone replacement therapy. Univariate and multivariate unconditional logistic regression were used. RESULTS: In the sample, 52.5% were up to 59 years old and 47.5% were 60 or over. The mean bone mineral density was 0.867 g/cm2 (SD=0.151) for the femoral neck. Significant age-adjusted values were obtained for physical activity (adjusted OR=0.47; 95% CI: 0.23;0.97), body mass index greater than or equal to 30.0 kg/m2 (adjusted OR=0.10; 95% CI: 0.05;0.21), alcohol consumption (adjusted OR=7.90; 95% CI: 2.17;28.75), low milk consumption (adjusted OR=3.29; 95% CI: 1.91;5.68) and hormone replacement (adjusted OR = 0.44; 95% CI: 0.21;0.90). Among the elderly women, body mass, milk consumption and physical activity were independent protection factors. CONCLUSIONS: Advanced age, body mass, physical activity, milk and alcohol consumption were important factors in bone mass regulation. The influence of behavioral factors was maintained among the women of advanced aged, thus reinforcing the role of preventive measures in medical practice and public health promotion policies aimed at healthy aging.

Keywords : Osteoporosis [epidemiology]; Osteoporosis [prevention & control]; Bone density; Women; Risk Factors; Cross-sectional studies.

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