Osteoporosis International

, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 1651–1662 | Cite as

Osteoporosis in China

  • Y. WangEmail author
  • Y. Tao
  • M. E. Hyman
  • J. Li
  • Y. Chen



Based on related studies published between 1980 and May 2008, we examine the prevalence of osteoporoses in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Overall, the prevalence of osteoporosis among these Chinese populations remains low compared to other Caucasian populations; in the mainland, it was approximately 13%.


Osteoporosis is a significant public health problem and has received great attention in industrialized countries. However, limited is known in many developing countries including China, where aging and changing lifestyles likely contribute to increased osteoporosis. The objectives of the study is to examine the disease burden (prevalence) and time trends of osteoporosis in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.


Related studies published in English and Chinese between January 1980 and May 2008 were reviewed and analyzed.


The prevalence increased with age and varied dramatically based on local versus international diagnosis criteria. In the mainland, reported overall prevalence of osteoporosis based on nationwide surveys ranged from 6.6% to 19.3% (average = 13.0%). The prevalence varied considerably across studies, and by regions, gender, and bone sites, but the urban to rural difference was small. In Hong Kong, the prevalence among women ≥50 years ranged from 34.1–37% in the spine; was 7% in the same aged men. In Taiwan, among those aged ≥50 years, average prevalence of osteoporosis was 11.4% in women and 1.6% in men.


Future national programs need to monitor the burden of osteoporosis in China though available data indicate that the prevalence of osteoporosis remains low compared to that of other Caucasian populations.


Bone density China Hong Kong Osteoporosis Taiwan 



The study was supported in part by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. Yexuan Tao is a postdoctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is supported in part by a fellowship provided by Shanghai Jiao Tong University Xinhua Hospital. Melanie E. Hyman was supported by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2007 Diversity Summer Internship Program (DSIP). The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Y. Tao
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. E. Hyman
    • 3
  • J. Li
    • 1
  • Y. Chen
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public HealthJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Xinhua Hospital, School of MedicineShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Tufts UniversityMedfordUSA
  4. 4.Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public HealthSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

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