Osteoporosis International

, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp 314–321

Body size, estrogen use and thiazide diuretic use affect 5-year radial bone loss in postmenopausal women

  • M. R. Sowers
  • M. K. Clark
  • M. L. Jannausch
  • R. B. Wallace
Original Article


Understanding factors associated with more rapid bone mineral loss among aging women is important for establishing preventive strategies for intervention. This study reports factors associated with the 5-year change in radial bone mineral density (BMD) determined prospectively in 435 women aged 55–80 years at baseline. The baseline study included measurement of radial BMD (gm/cm2) by single photon densitometry and personal interview. The baseline protocol was replicated 5 years later in a follow-up study. Women with a lower baseline weight or Quetelet index, smaller triceps skinfold and less arm muscle area had significantly greater 5-year bone loss (p=0.001). Current users of estrogens had less radial bone loss (2.8% vs 7.3%,p=0.0005) than women not currently using estrogens. Current users of estrogen had significantly less 5-year loss if use had been for 5 years or longer (−1.0% vs −6.9%,p=0.05). Current users of the thiazide class of medications had less 5-year radial bone loss (5.0% vs 7.4%,p=0.0035) than women without current thiazide use. Baseline dietary calcium, alcohol consumption and smoking were not associated with BMD change. This suggests that greater body size, and current use of estrogens or thiazide antihypertensives are associated with less radial bone mass loss in a 5-year period among postmenopausal women.


Bone Bone loss Epidemiology Estrogen Prospective study Thiazide 


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Copyright information

© European Foundation for Osteoporosis 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. R. Sowers
    • 1
  • M. K. Clark
    • 2
  • M. L. Jannausch
    • 1
  • R. B. Wallace
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.College of NursingUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, College of MedicineUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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