• Article

Bone Health in Immigrant Hispanic Women Living in Texas

Osteoporosis is a serious national public health problem, and is expected to increase significantly over the next few decades, especially in women. A limitation of bone health research exists since few studies have involved Hispanic women, and even fewer, Hispanic immigrant women. For this study we examined the effects of anthropometric, behavioral, and health history variables on bone mineral density (BMD) in 84 immigrant Hispanic women, age 40 and above. BMD was assessed at the spine, femur, and forearm using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Demographic information, health histories, and behavioral risk factors were obtained from a questionnaire. In the younger group (mean age = 44.1 years) 61% had spinal osteopenia, and in the postmenopausal group (mean age = 53.0 years) 59% had osteopenia and 13% had osteoporosis. Femur sites were free of osteoporosis. Mean body mass index (BMI) was 31.8 +/- A 6.1 and mean waist girth was 95.6 +/- A 12.5 cm, indicating overall and abdominal obesity. Partial correlations indicated a significant positive relationship between body fat variables and total femur BMD values. ANOVAs revealed no differences in BMD values at any bone site across tertile levels for calcium intake or for physical activity. However, supplemental and dietary calcium intakes were very low and few participants engaged in regular physical activity outside of work and activities of daily living (ADL). In light of the expected increase in osteoporosis in this population and the prevalence of spinal osteopenia in the younger participants, education about the health risks of osteoporosis should be made available to this group


Ballard, JE., Cooper, CM., Bone, MA., Saade, G., & Holiday, D. (2010). Bone Health in Immigrant Hispanic Women Living in Texas. Journal of Community Health, 35(5), 453-463.