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Open Access Research article

The effect of regular physical activity on bone mineral density in post-menopausal women aged 75 and over: a retrospective analysis from the Canadian multicentre osteoporosis study

Jeffrey M Muir15*, Chenglin Ye12, Mohit Bhandari13, Jonathan D Adachi4 and Lehana Thabane1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

2 PhD Candidate, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

3 Department of Surgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

4 Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

5 c/o 3228 South Service Rd, Ste. 206, Burlington, ON L7N 3H8, Canada

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:253  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-253

Published: 23 August 2013

Abstract

Background

Physical activity is known to benefit many physiological processes, including bone turnover. There are; however, currently no clinical guidelines regarding the most appropriate type, intensity and duration of activity to prevent bone loss.

Methods

To help address this gap in the literature, we performed a retrospective analysis of data from the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos), a prospective cohort of 9423 adult patients, to determine the relationship between the amount of regular daily physical activity performed and bone mineral density. A total of 1169 female participants aged 75 and over provided information regarding their daily activity levels, including the amount of time spent each week performing physical activity at varying levels of intensity. Multiple and linear regression analyses were used to determine the effect of increasing amounts of this regular physical activity on bone mineral density.

Results

The results indicate that a step increase in the amount of physical activity performed each day resulted in a positive effect on bone mineral density at the hip, Ward’s triangle, trochanter and femoral neck (B = 0.006 to 0.008, p < 0.05). Possible confounding factors such as the use of anti-resorptive therapy, body mass index and age were included in the analysis and suggested that age had a negative effect on bone density while body mass index had a positive effect. Anti-resorptive therapy provided a protective effect against loss of bone density.

Conclusions

The data indicate that a step increase in the amount of daily activity, using simple, daily performed tasks, can help prevent decreases in post-menopausal bone mineral density.

Keywords:
Osteoporosis; Physical activity; Bone mineral density; Post-menopausal