The Prevalence of Low Bone Mineral Density in Dutch Perimenopausal Women: The Eindhoven Perimenopausal Osteoporosis Study
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The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of osteopenia and osteoporosis in perimenopausal women, and to assess determinants of low bone mineral density (BMD). All women born between 1941 and 1947 (aged between 46 and 54 years) living in the city of Eindhoven were invited to participate in the study; 5896 white Dutch women, representing 73% of the total number of Dutch women in this age group, were studied. Of these, 24% were using estrogen preparations and 19% had undergone hysterectomy, with or without oophorectomy. All women were interviewed and bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Osteopenia and osteoporosis were defined according to the criteria proposed by a WHO working group. In the population studied the prevalence of osteopenia and osteoporosis was 27.3% and 4.1%, respectively. With progression from premenopause to menopause, the prevalence of osteoporosis increased from 0.4% to 12.7%, and that of osteopenia from 14.5% to 42.8%. An increased risk for low BMD (osteopenia and osteoporosis) was associated with age, menopausal status and smoking, while alcohol consumption, high body mass index (BMI) and use of estrogens had a protective effect. This study of a large population-based cohort of perimenopausal women revealed a high prevalence of low bone mass and, therefore, a higher risk for osteoporotic fractures. The data further suggest that, when issues on the long-term efficacy and safety of preventive treatments are resolved, it may be possible to identify women at higher risk who are most likely to benefit from screening strategies.
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