Ethnic differences in bone health

Ayse Zengin, Ann Prentice, Kate Anna Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


There are differences in bone health between ethnic groups in both men and in women. Variations in body size and composition are likely to contribute to reported differences. Most studies report ethnic differences in areal bone mineral density (aBMD), which do not consistently parallel ethnic patterns in fracture rates. This suggests that other parameters beside aBMD should be considered when determining fracture risk between and within populations, including other aspects of bone strength: bone structure and microarchitecture, as well as muscle strength (mass, force generation, anatomy) and fat mass. We review what is known about differences in bone-densitometry-derived outcomes between ethnic groups and the extent to which they account for the differences in fracture risk. Studies are included that were published primarily between 1994 and 2014. A "one size fits all approach" should definitely not be used to understand better ethnic differences in fracture risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00024
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Issue numberMAR
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone
  • Bone mineral density
  • DXA
  • Ethnic groups
  • Fracture
  • Muscle
  • PQCT
  • Skeletal

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