Bone mineral density of the spine and femur in United Arab Emirates women: Relation to anthropometric, reproductive, and lifestyle factors

Hussein Saadi, Mohammad Mohamadiyeh, Abdulrahim Al-Suhaili, Richard Reed, Sheela Benedict, Mukesh Agarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aims and objectives: Establish normative data for bone mineral density (BMD) at the spine and femur in healthy United Arab Emirates (UAE) women, compare BMD of UAE women to other populations, and examine the relationship of BMD to anthropometric, reproductive, and lifestyle factors. Methods: Three hundred and one healthy UAE women volunteers aged 20-79 years were interviewed and studied by measurements of height, weight, body composition using bioelectric impedance, handgrip strength, and axial BMD using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Mean values for BMD of UAE women were compared to those of other Arabian Gulf women and to US/European Caucasian women. Results: Mean standardized BMD of UAE women showed the expected decline with age after reaching its peak in the 4th decade for the spine and the fifth decade for the total femur. Mean spine BMD was significantly lower than US/European Caucasian women across all age decades. Mean total femur BMD was significantly higher than US/European Caucasian women, except in the 3rd decade, where it was significantly lower. Peak standardized BMD (age range 20-39 years) of spine was significantly lower than the reference range for US/European Caucasian women (-0.54 SD, P < 0.01); however peak standardized BMD of total femur was not significantly different. There were significant positive correlations between BMD, and weight, body mass index, free fat mass, percent body fat, handgrip strength, and walking duration. There were significant negative correlations between BMD, and age, poor health, years post menopause, number of pregnancies, and breast-feeding duration (p < 0.05 for all comparisons). Multiple regression analyses showed that age, weight, handgrip strength and number of pregnancies were significant predictors of spine BMD whereas weight, menopausal duration, and walking duration were significant predictors of total femur BMD. Conclusions: We have provided a database of BMD of the lumbar spine and total femur for healthy UAE women aged 20-79 years, and showed that UAE women, like other Arabian women, have lower peak BMD of the spine compared with US/European Caucasian women. We have also demonstrated that multiparity, physical activity and weight are significant predictors of BMD in this population. These factors should be the subject of public health interventions to prevent osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalNew Emirates Medical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabian Women
  • Bone mineral density
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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