Bone mineral density and lifestyle among female students aged 16-24 years.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The objective of the study was to investigate bone mineral density and bone turnover among female students aged 16-24 years in relation to lifestyle factors, such as dietary habits and physical activity, as well as physiological factors, such as age, body weight, and menstrual pattern. Female college and university students (n = 218) were given a validated questionnaire with 34 questions concerning diet, recreational physical activity, alcohol, smoking, menstrual pattern, weight gain and loss. Bone mineral density (BMD) measurements were performed using a heel bone scanner (DEXA). Deoxypyridinoline (DPD) levels were measured in urine samples. The data were analyzed by linear regression and multiple regression analysis. The mean BMD was 0.568 g/cm2. Multiple regression showed that hormonal age was a better predictor of high BMD and low bone mineral turnover than chronological age. The best model predicting high BMD was composed of physical activity, regular menstruation, hormonal age and body weight. Smoking, alcohol consumption and current calcium intake did not contribute to the model. A negative association between BMD and DPD was found, indicating an enhanced bone remodeling. A correlation was found between DPD and hormonal age, chronological age, sugar intake and time with irregular menses. In multiple regression analysis, hormonal age, high sugar intake and weight loss were the factors best predicting DPD. BMD was positively influenced by a healthy lifestyle, including a physically active life and healthy dietary habits without dieting. Our study shows that hormonal age is a stronger BMD predictor than chronological age. Menstrual disturbances might be an indication of a risk for low BMD and might therefore be a reason for measuring BMD among young females.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-98
JournalGynecological Endocrinology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Nursing (Closed 2012) (013065000), Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Lund) (013018000)