Knowledge, Beliefs, Dietary, and Lifestyle Practices Related to Bone Health among Middle-Aged and Elderly Chinese in Klang Valley, Malaysia

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 May 20;16(10):1787. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16101787.


Osteoporosis is a growing health problem in Asian countries with a rapidly expanding aging population. Adequate knowledge and positive health beliefs regarding osteoporosis will encourage individuals to adopt measures to protect bone health. This study aimed to investigate the association between knowledge, beliefs, and practices regarding osteoporosis and bone health among Malaysians Chinese aged 40 years and above. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 367 Malaysians Chinese (182 men, 185 women) aged ≥ 40 years in Klang Valley, Malaysia. They completed a questionnaire on knowledge, beliefs, and practices of osteoporosis and underwent bone mineral density scan using a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry device. The subjects showed moderate knowledge and high level of health beliefs regarding osteoporosis, but poor osteoprotective practices. Osteoporosis knowledge and beliefs were significantly different based on subjects' demographic characteristics (p < 0.05). Additionally, osteoporosis knowledge was correlated positively with beliefs, coffee or tea intake (p < 0.05) but not with other lifestyle practices. Osteoporosis health beliefs was associated positively with physical activity, dairy and calcium intake (p < 0.05). However, bone health was not associated with knowledge, beliefs and practices regarding osteoporosis (p > 0.05). The present findings highlight the need of formulating osteoporosis prevention program targeting Malaysians Chinese, especially men, to improve their knowledge, health beliefs, and practice.

Keywords: attitude; behaviors; bone density; diet; dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; knowledge; perception.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian People
  • Bone Density
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone and Bones / physiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Malaysia
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoporosis / physiopathology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires