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A cross-sectional study of bone density and associated factors among community dwelling men

Yin-Ming Lia, b, Hui-Ling Laib

a Department of Family Medicine, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Hualien, Taiwan
b Department of Nursing, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan

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Osteoporosis in men is substantially underestimated and undertreated worldwide. Therefore, our study aimed to assess the bone mineral density (BMD) and predicting factors of low BMD in community dwelling men.

Materials and Methods

This cross-sectional study was conducted from January 2004 to November 2005. The participants were 519 men from 30 to 79 years old who underwent a checkup at a teaching hospital in eastern Taiwan. Anthropometric and lifestyle factors were investigated using a standard self-reporting questionnaire. Bone mineral density of the posterior-anterior lumbar spine (L1–L4) (BMDL) was measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Age groups were stratified by 10-year intervals.


The mean BMDL in the 519 participants was 0.951 g/cm2, with no significant difference between age groups. The BMDL was correlated positively with body mass index (BMI) (r = 0.22, p < 0.001). Of the 390 men aged 50 or older, 17.4% had an osteoporotic lumbar spine. Their mean age was 59.4 years [standard deviation (SD) 6.3], with a mean BMDL of 0.758 g/cm2, and a mean BMI of 23.1 (SD 3.5). Low body mass was noted as the unique factor associated with osteoporosis in a mutlivariate analysis, after controlling for risk factors such as aging, smoking, alcohol intake and low physical activity. Men with a BMI less than 22.9 (the 25th percentile) were 2.9 times more likely to have osteoporosis than those with a higher BMI.


Low bone mass is not uncommon in men in Taiwan. A low body mass index was a risk factor. Further investigation of both the bone health of men and the effects of environmental factors is crucial.

Bone density; Medical check-up; Men; Osteoporosis


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