Background and purpose There has been much discussion about the risk factors for osteoporosis, but studies involving elderly population in Taiwan are minimal. We aimed to describe variables related to osteoporosis among community dwelling older people in Taiwan. Methods This is a cross-sectional study. The 671 participants were randomly selected from 3680 examinees of the annual Senior Citizens Health Examination in year 2010. Participants were interviewed with a detailed questionnaire, and 91 of them were invited for dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Predictor variables included age, gender and clinical risk factors for osteoporosis. The main outcome was osteoporosis confirmed by DXA. Results The mean age of the participants was 75.7 ± 6.4 years old. Overall, the most prevalent variables for osteoporosis were height loss in adulthood (41.0%), lack of dairy products or calcium supplements (32.0%) and insufficient physical activity (10.4%). In multivariate models, we found that underweight (OR = 9.80) and lack of dairy products/calcium supplements (OR = 3.68) were the main variables for osteoporosis. In the subgroup analysis involving only women, underweight (OR = 14.60) was the main variable. Discussion Among community-dwelling older people in Taiwan, osteoporosis was mainly associated with underweight and lack of dairy products or calcium supplements. Conclusion We suggest using the key questions of underweight and dietary pattern in clinical settings to identify high risk people who are candidates for further BMD exam.
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