This study sought to investigate the prevalence of osteoporosis and the role of sex hormone levels in the determination of bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis in a Vietnamese population of women and men. The cross-sectional study involved 269 women and 222 men aged 13-83 years, who were randomly selected from urban and rural areas in northern Vietnam. Serum concentrations of estradiol and testosterone were analyzed, and BMD was measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry. We found that the prevalence of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women was 18, 17, and 37 % for the femoral neck, total hip, and lumbar spine, respectively. For men aged 50 years or older, the corresponding values were 8, 7, and 12 %. In men, the most important predictors of BMD for the femoral neck and total hip were age, body mass index, and serum levels of estradiol. For the BMD of the lumbar spine, testosterone also had a significant influence. Determinants of osteoporosis in men for the total hip and lumbar spine were age, weight, and serum concentrations of estradiol and testosterone. In postmenopausal women, age, weight, and residence (urban vs rural) were the most important predictors of BMD and osteoporosis. For all women (including those of reproductive age), serum levels of estradiol were also significant. These data suggest that the prevalence of osteoporosis in the Vietnamese population is high also in men, and that estradiol levels are essential for bone mass in both men and women. The results should have clinical implications and increase awareness of an important health issue within Vietnamese society.
Keywords: Bone mineral density; Estrogen; Osteoporosis; Testosterone; Vietnamese women and men.