Ethnic variation in risk for osteoporosis among women: A review of biological and behavioral factors

Pooja Pothiwala, Ellen M. Evans, Karen Marie Chapman-Novakofski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Most studies of risk factors for osteoporosis and nontraumatic fracture involve white women, although more research is being geared toward bone health among various ethnic groups. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of health disparity in osteoporosis, including assessment of bone mineral density (BMD), bone health screening, lifestyle risk factors, and treatment involving white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American women. This review summarizes evidence that white, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American women are more at risk for osteoporosis than black women. These conclusions are supported by the disparity in BMD between white and black women, although the reason for this biological difference is not well characterized. Additional research is needed to determine if there is a significant difference in BMD among Hispanic, Asian, and Native American women independent of body weight and size. Similarly, there is also disparity in fracture rates, with the causes presumed to be multifactorial. Calcium intake is lower than recommended in all females at all ages; however, it is much lower in black and Native American women and highest in white and Hispanic women. Black women also have a lower vitamin D status than white women, with mean vitamin D status of Hispanic American women lying between that of black and white women. Similarly, although white women are more active than black and Hispanic women at all ages, data are lacking about physical activity habits of women of other ethnic backgrounds and how this impacts bone health. Finally, screening protocols for women of various ethnicities and effectiveness of treatments are not well established and remain a priority in women's health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-719
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006

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Biological Factors
Osteoporosis
Hispanic Americans
North American Indians
Asian Americans
Bone Density
Health
Bone and Bones
Vitamin D
Women's Rights
Body Size
Women's Health
Ethnic Groups
Research
Habits
Life Style

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Ethnic variation in risk for osteoporosis among women : A review of biological and behavioral factors. / Pothiwala, Pooja; Evans, Ellen M.; Chapman-Novakofski, Karen Marie.

In: Journal of Women's Health, Vol. 15, No. 6, 01.07.2006, p. 709-719.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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