The need for comprehensive educational osteoporosis prevention programs for young women: results from a second osteoporosis prevention survey

Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Feb;45(1):28-34. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(200102)45:1<28::AID-ANR80>3.0.CO;2-G.


Objective: To assess osteoporosis knowledge, beliefs, and preventive behaviors among young adult women and to identify sources that they would mostly likely utilize to learn more about the disease.

Methods: Information was gathered through a cross-sectional survey of 321 women (mean age 21.6 years; 63.5% were white, 29.2% were black) enrolled in a required undergraduate health course at a southeastern state university.

Results: Two hundred seventy-seven (86%) of the survey participants had heard about osteoporosis, but only 3.8% of respondents reported getting both adequate exercise and the recommended 1,200 mg of calcium per day. Respondents believed that they were unlikely to develop osteoporosis and that osteoporosis is less serious than other common causes of morbidity and mortality in women, such as heart disease and breast cancer (P < 0.0001). Brochures, magazines, and short counseling sessions were preferred information sources for learning about osteoporosis. CONCLUSIONS. The majority of young women studied are at risk for developing premature osteoporosis. They prefer brochures, magazines, and short counseling sessions during medical office visits to learn about osteoporosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Culture
  • Eating / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Georgia / epidemiology
  • Health Education / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Calcium, Dietary