Open Access Open Badges Research article

Prevalence and factors associated with low bone mineral density in Saudi women: a community based survey

AlJohara M AlQuaiz12, Ambreen Kazi1*, Salwa Tayel2, Shaffi Ahamed Shaikh2, Abdullah Al-Sharif3, Saleh Othman4, Fawzia Habib5, Mona Fouda16 and Riad Sulaimani6

Author Affiliations

1 Princess Nora Bent Abdallah Women Health Research Chair, College of Medicine, King Saud University, PO Box 231831, Riyadh 11321, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

2 Department of Family & Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

3 Council of Co-operative Health Insurance, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

4 Department of Nuclear Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

5 Departement of Obstetrics & Gynecology, College of Medicine, Taibah University, Al Medina, Al Munawara, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

6 Department of Medicine-Endocrinology, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh 12371, Saudi Arabia

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2014, 15:5  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-5

Published: 8 January 2014



Low bone mineral density (BMD) is a public health issue in Saudi Arabia. This study measured the prevalence and factors associated with low BMD in Saudi women in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


A cross sectional study using two stage cluster sampling technique was conducted in Riyadh, 2009. Thirty clusters, each comprising of 300 houses were randomly chosen and from each cluster 38ā€“40 households were selected to identify 1150 women of >40 years. Women were invited to primary health care center for filling of self-administered questionnaire (nā€‰=ā€‰1069) comprising of sociodemographic, health, diet and physical activity variables. 1008 women underwent screening for low BMD using the quantitative ultrasound technique. 535 (53%) women with positive screening test were referred to King Khalid Hospital for Dual X-ray Energy absorptiometry (DXA).


362 women underwent DXA and 212 (39.6%) were screened low BMD either at lumbar spine or femur neck. Mean age of women was 55.26(Ā±8.84) years. Multivariate logistic analysis found; being aged 61 to 70 years (OR 2.75, 95% CI: 1.32-1.48), no literacy (OR 2.97, 95% CI:1.44 - 6.12) or primary education (OR 4.12, 95% CI:2.05-8.29), history of fractures (OR 2.20, 95% CI:1.03- 4.69) and not drinking laban(diluted yogurt) (OR 2.81, 95% CI:1.47- 5.37) significantly associated with low BMD.


Women with low level of education, who do not drink laban and had history of fractures were at high risk of low BMD.

Low bone mineral density; Women; Dietary factors