Archives of Osteoporosis

, Volume 2, Issue 1–2, pp 45–52 | Cite as

Osteoporosis among Ethiopian immigrant women: a risk analysis

Original Article



The objective was to evaluate the prevalence of osteoporosis among Ethiopian immigrant and Israeli-born women and to determine the risk factors. The study revealed extreme prevalence of osteoporosis among Ethiopian immigrants (38.7). A strong association between calcium intake during adolescence, BMI, lactation duration, physical activity, oral contraceptive and osteoporosis is suggested.


Osteoporosis is a chronic disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration in the micro-architecture of bone that increases its susceptibility to fractures. We set out to evaluate the prevalence of osteoporosis among Ethiopian immigrant and Israeli-born women and to determine the risk factors.


A cross-sectional study among 181 Ethiopians immigrants and 98 Israeli-born women. Hip, forearm and spinal bone mineral density (BMD) were measured. Risk factor information was obtained from an interview. BMD and osteoporosis rates were compared between the groups. Step-wise regression models were constructed for osteoporosis as the dependent variable controlling for potential confounders.


We defined 38.7% Ethiopian and 5.2% Israeli-born women as having osteoporosis. Rates of low BMI, prolonged lactation, age at first giving birth and sunlight exposure were higher in Ethiopian women compared to the Israeli-born. Multivariate analysis revealed a strong association between calcium intake during adolescence, BMI, lactation duration, physical activity, oral contraceptive use and osteoporosis.


The prevalence of osteoporosis among Ethiopian immigrant women living in Israel is extremely high compared to national and international rates. Therefore, we suggest that an immediate prevention program among Ethiopian women be started and guidelines for care-givers be developed, in order to raise their awareness for osteoporosis.


Bone density Calcium intake Ethiopian immigrants Osteoporosis Osteoporosis risk analysis 


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Peled
    • 1
  • D. Dahan
    • 2
  • R. Endevelt
    • 3
    • 4
  • D. R. Shahar
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Health Systems Management, Faculty of Health SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Faculty of Health SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael
  3. 3.Maccabi Health ServicesTel-AvivIsrael
  4. 4.Haifa UniversityHaifaIsrael
  5. 5.The S. Daniel International Center for Health and Nutrition, Department of Epidemiology and Health Services Evaluation, Faculty of Health SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

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