(Springer, 2010-05-18) Abd-Alhameed, Intissar; Saba, Elias; Darwish, Hisham M.
Summary The prevalence and awareness of postmenopausal
osteoporosis was assessed among 569 postmenopausal
women randomly selected from the population. Osteoporosis
was assessed based on bone mineral density (BMD)
values at three indicative sites. The results indicate a
significant prevalence of the disease among this fraction
of the population with a poor knowledge of its risk factors.
Introduction Postmenopausal osteoporosis is a major health
problem at the individual and population levels. Assessment
of its prevalence and awareness of risk factors provide
the basis for health plans to control the disease. No
previous studies have been done in our population. A
cross-sectional study including 569 postmenopausal women
showed a significant prevalence of osteoporosis with a poor
awareness of risk factors.
Methods Included in the study were 569 randomly selected
postmenopausal women (≥49 years of age). BMD was
measured in 505 subjects at the lumbar spine, femoral neck
and total hip using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry.
Awareness was evaluated using a special questionnaire.
Results Osteoporosis affected the lumbar spine, femoral
neck and total hip in 24%, 14% and 29.7% of subjects,
respectively. There was a significant negative correlation (p<0.001) between age and number of years since menopause
and BMD at all the sites evaluated. Conversely,
BMD increased at the three sites as weight, height and BMI
increased. There was a significant positive correlation
between BMD at the three sites and the physical characteristics
of the subjects (weight, height and BMI) (p<0.001 at the
hip and femoral neck, and p=0.05 at the lumbar spine). BMD
was higher at the lumbar spine and femoral neck among
subjects aware of the disease (0.893 and 0.746 g/cm2,
respectively) than among subjects unaware of the disease
(0.835 and 0.712 g/cm2, respectively). This investigation is
the first among Palestinian women in this region. It indicates
the urgent need for a comprehensive national programme to
reduce the incidence of osteoporosis.
Conclusion Postmenopausal osteoporosis is significant
among the Palestinian population and there is a poor
awareness of the risk factors.