OBJECTIVES: To estimate the prevalence of risk factors for osteoporosis in Alaska Native (AN) women and to assess the feasibility of portable bone density measurement in rural Alaska. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of 452 patients from 17 clinics in Alaska. We interviewed subjects regarding risk factors for osteoporosis and measured calcaneal bone density by ultrasound. RESULTS: Of the 452 women, 316 (70%) were Alaska Natives. Risk factors for osteoporosis were common among study participants. Total dietary calcium intake was low (mean = 306 mg/day). Current smokers [Odds Ratio (OR) = 3.9, 95% Confidence Interval (95% C.I.) 1.8, 8.4], former smokers (OR = 2.8, 95% C.I. 1.3, 6.2) and chronic users of oral steroids (OR = 4.7, 95% C.I. 1.8, 12.0) were at increased risk for low bone density. CONCLUSIONS: Reduction of cigarette smoking, increase in dietary calcium, and reduction of oral steroid use would likely decrease the prevalence of osteoporosis in AN women. A comprehensive prevention program including bone density screening is warranted in rural Alaska.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Pages (from-to)||8-13, 21|
|State||Published - 2002|
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