Change in bone mineral density and its determinants in pre- and perimenopausal Chinese women: the Hong Kong Perimenopausal Women Osteoporosis Study

Osteoporos Int. 2008 Dec;19(12):1785-96. doi: 10.1007/s00198-008-0614-2. Epub 2008 Apr 24.


This 30-month study investigating bone change and its determinants in 438 perimenopausal Chinese women revealed that the fastest bone loss occurred in women undergoing menopausal transition but maintenance of body weight and physical fitness were beneficial for bone health. Soy protein intake also seemed to exert a protective effect.

Introduction: This 30-month follow-up study aims to investigate change in bone mineral density and its determinants in Hong Kong Chinese perimenopausal women.

Methods: Four hundred and thirty-eight women aged 45 to 55 years were recruited through random telephone dialing and primary care clinic. Bone mass, body composition, lifestyle measurements were obtained at baseline and at 9-, 18- and 30-month follow-ups. Univariate and stepwise multiple regression analyses were performed with the regression coefficients of BMD/C (derived from baseline and follow-up measurements) as the outcome variables. Menopausal status was classified as pre- or postmenopausal or transitional.

Results: Menopausal status was the strongest determinant of bone changes. An annual bone loss of about 0.5% was observed among premenopausal, 2% to 2.5% among transitional, and about 1.5% in postmenopausal women. Multiple regression analyses, revealed that a positive regression slope of body weight was protective for follow-up bone loss at all sites. Number of pregnancy, soy protein intake and walking were protective for total body BMC. Higher baseline LM was also protective for neck of femur BMD.

Conclusion: Maintenance of body weight and physical fitness were observed to have a protective effect on for bone loss in Chinese perimenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Anthropometry
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Diet
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis / ethnology
  • Osteoporosis / physiopathology*
  • Perimenopause / physiology*
  • Premenopause / physiology
  • Time Factors