Osteoporosis knowledge and awareness among university students in Saudi Arabia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Awareness and knowledge about any disease is the first step to prevent and treat it, so this study evaluates osteoporosis awareness and knowledge in university students. Our results showed a high awareness and good knowledge of osteoporosis. Females were better informed than males. Knowledge increased with increasing education level. PURPOSE: Osteoporosis is a worldwide health problem, including Saudi Arabia where vitamin D deficiency is common. Prevention of osteoporosis must begin by increasing awareness of the disease from a young age. This study aimed to assess awareness and knowledge of osteoporosis among young adults (18-30 years) attending Saudi universities, exploring the relationship between education and gender and the sources of information in this age group. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 337 students (176 females; 161 males) randomly selected from four Saudi universities during January-December 2017. Education level ranged from preparatory year to undergraduate and postgraduate levels. A self-reported questionnaire was designed to assess awareness and knowledge of osteoporosis across several domains, including risk factors for the disease, prevalence, symptoms, prevention, and treatment. RESULTS: Overall, 92% of students had some awareness of osteoporosis through a variety of sources, predominantly via friends. Just over half of all students had a good or high knowledge level overall (53.4 ± 16.6%). Knowledge score correlated with education (r2 = 0.28) and gender (r2 = 0.27); p < 0.0001. Females were better informed than males (57.7 ± 15.4% vs 48.8 ± 16.8%; p < 0.0001). Knowledge increased with increasing education level (preparatory year (47.8 ± 15.3%), undergraduate (53.5 ± 16.5%), and postgraduate (61.8 ± 15.8%); all p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Knowledge of osteoporosis was good among university students in Saudi Arabia, higher in females and with increasing years of education. Overall, students were more knowledgeable about risk factors compared to other aspects such as symptoms, prevention, or treatment of osteoporosis.


External organisations
  • King Abdulaziz University
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Orthopedics


  • Awareness, Knowledge, Osteoporosis, Saudi Arabia, Students, University
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Osteoporosis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch