Background/Aim: Anecdotally it is suggested that Pasifika women have good bone mineral density (BMD); however little evidence for this or for associated factors exists. The aim of this study is to explore associations between several key predictors of bone health with bone mineral density, as measured by Z-scores, in pre-menopausal Pasifika women.
Methods: Healthy pre-menopausal Pasifika women (n=91; age 16-45y) were recruited. Participants’ body composition and total body BMD were assessed using DEXA. A food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and current bone-specific physical activity questionnaire (cBPAQ) were completed. Variables that significantly correlated with BMD Z-score were applied to a hierarchical multiple regression analysis.
Results: The mean BMD was 1.1 g/cm2 ± 0.08.Lean mass (LM, 56kg ± 9.4) and total mass (91kg ± 20) were the only factors to show a significant correlation with BMD Z-score. Body-fat (38.5% ±7.5), cBPAQ score (1.7 (0.4,5.2)), and dietary calcium (1097mg ±478), protein (17.7% ±3.5) and vitamin C (135mg (97, 233)) showed no correlation with BMD Z-score. The regression analysis suggests LM is the most important predictor of BMD Z-score, explaining 11.5% of the variance, while total mass accounts for a further 3.1% of variance. Together, these factors explain a total of 14.6% of the variability.
Conclusions: LM is the strongest predictor of BMD, while many established contributors to bone health (calcium, physical activity, protein, and vitamin C) do not appear to be associated with BMD in this population. As just 14.6% of the variability can be explained, further research is needed in this area.
Funding Source: Nutricia Research Foundation