, Volume 14, Issue 11, pp 929-940
Date: 07 Oct 2003

Prevalence of osteoporosis and its reproductive risk factors among Jordanian women: a cross-sectional study

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Abstract

Extensive differences in the osteoporosis epidemiological pattern among geographic and ethnic groups have been reported. The evidence concerning association of multiple pregnancies, lactations, and other menstrual history factors with low bone mineral density (BMD) remains inconclusive. Previous local studies addressing these issues in Jordan are very restricted. We present a cross-sectional study of Jordanian women who visited outpatient clinics between August 2000 and August 2002 at two community hospitals in Amman City. BMD measurement was performed for all subjects, while comprehensive appraisal of clinical issues related to reproductive status and past medical history was carried out using a structured questionnaire administered to 50% of the subjects. We also attempted to examine the current hypothesis of possible influence of hyperlipidemia and thyroid abnormalities on decreased BMD. According to WHO criteria, 119 (29.6%) were identified as having osteoporosis, 176 (43.8%) were osteopenic, and 107 (26.6%) had normal BMD. The multiple-linear regression analyses at different bone sites revealed that age, years of menopause, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) have strong independent associations with decreased BMD at all lumbar and femoral neck regions. The negative effect associated with number of children (live births) and frequency of lactations was only evident at femoral neck. Although years of menstruation, age at menopause, days of menstrual cycle, number of pregnancies, and duration of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) were positively correlated with BMD, they had weaker associations than previous variables. Moreover, in the final multivariable logistic regression model, variables which rendered significantly independent risk factors after adjustment for age and BMI were: current smokers of more that 25 cigarettes/day, postmenopausal women irrespective of HRT use, menopausal years of ≥5 year intervals, natural early menopause, gastrointestinal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, hypertension, and thyroid replacement therapy. Ever-lactation, frequent lactation of 4 or more times, duration of lactation interval of 1–6 months and clinical hyperthyroidism were significant protective factors. Hysterectomy with or without oophorectomy, premature ovarian failure, gravidity, menstrual flow pattern, family history of osteoporosis, clinical hypothyroidism, hyperlipidemia, HRT, and corticosteroids therapy were not independent predictors of osteoporosis among our population. It was concluded that the prevalence of this worldwide public health problem among the Jordanian female population is extremely high, and is even found in younger age categories compared to previous international surveys. Though, the number of pregnancies in our multiparous female population showed a negative impact on femoral neck BMD, no evidence of increased risk of osteoporosis among ever-pregnant women was noted. Conversely, the current data analysis highlight many potential risk factors including associated medical illnesses, and other hormonal alterations experienced during menopausal period. Therefore, increased health awareness and intensive screening programs are mandatory for early detection of low bone mass.