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Association between self-perceived health, physical activity, and BMD in middle-aged men and women
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine.
2011 (English)In: The Open Bone Journal, ISSN 1876-5254, no 3, 6-10 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease that affects one out of every two women and one out of every five men. The clinical significance of this disease lies in the associated increased risk of fractures that mainly affect the femoral neck, spine, and wrist. One of the strongest risk factors for low-energy fractures is low bone mineral density (BMD, g/cm2). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between BMD, self-perceived health, and lifestyle factors in a well-defined cohort of middle-aged men and women.

Methods: The Västerbotten Intervention Project (VIP) is a study that has been ongoing in Västerbotten since 1985. All people in Västerbotten who are 40, 50 and 60 years of age are offered a comprehensive health survey in which a questionnaire is completed and blood pressure and blood lipids are measured. BMD has been measured in the Sports Medicine Unit in Umeå since 1991. As of December 31, 2006, 4,333 women and 2,320 men had been evaluated.  Of these, 1,595 were examined as part of the VIP before their BMD was measured, and these subjects included in the present study.  

Results: The mean age of the investigated cohort was 57 years (range 30-74). After adjusting for age, weight, sex, and follow-up time, self-perceived health (Beta = 0.08, p<0.001), training[ED1]  (Beta = 0.11, p<0.001), snow shoveling (Beta = 0.07, p=0.001), and smoking more than 15 cigarettes per day (Beta =- 0.05, p=0.04) were found to be related to femoral neck BMD. Only self-perceived health, age, and weight were found to be related to spine BMD. Self-perceived health was found to be related to some of the lifestyle factors that were significantly related to BMD, such as training (r = 0.14, p <0.001) and snow shoveling (Beta = 0.15, p <0.001).

Conclusion: In this cohort study, several lifestyle factors related to self-perceived health were also found to be related to bone mineral density in a well-defined cohort of middle-aged men and women.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. no 3, 6-10 p.
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26922DOI: 10.2174/1876525401103010006OAI: diva2:274827
Available from: 2009-11-02 Created: 2009-11-02 Last updated: 2014-12-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Physical activity, bone gain and sustainment of peak bone mass
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Physical activity, bone gain and sustainment of peak bone mass
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Weak and osteoporotic bones are an increasing cause of mortality and painful physical impairment among the elderly, especially in the Western world. Bone mineral density (BMD, g/cm2) accrual during childhood and adolescence is thought to influence an individual’s risk of osteoporosis and the related fractures.

A main aim of this thesis is to investigate the effects that various types of weight-bearing physical activity have on bone accretion in young males during their active sports careers and to study the effects that detraining has on BMD. The results suggest that bone is sensitive to loading after puberty in males, and important gains in BMD stemming from physical activity were observed during the 12-year follow-up period (papers I-III). These gains seem to be site-specific and related to the type and amount of physical activity in which individuals participate (papers I-III). For example, badminton, a sport that is characterized by jumps and rapid versatile moments in multiple directions was associated with greater gains in BMD than ice hockey was. In addition, our results indicate that with reduced training, exercise-induced bone benefits decline, predominantly at trabecular sites (paper II). In contrast, high bone density attained from previous physical loading was partially preserved at cortical bone sites after about eight years of reduced activity (papers I-II). In study IV, the associations between self-perceived health, BMD, and other lifestyle factors were studied in a well-defined group of women and men of varying ages. We found that self-perceived health was related to several lifestyle factors, such as physical activity, which were also related to BMD at the femoral neck.

In summary, BMD in young males seem to be especially sensitive to activities associated with supposed high strains in unusual directions at specific bone sites. A high bone density stemming from previous weight-bearing physical activity is largely lost at trabecular bone sites with reduced physical activity levels. Finally, self-perceived health seems to be associated with several lifestyle factors that are also associated with BMD at the femoral neck.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå university, 2009. 87 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1282
BMD, physical activity, men, athletes, trabecular bone, cortical bone, self-perceived health
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26928 (URN)978-91-7264-831-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-11-27, Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, 90187, Umeå, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-11-13 Created: 2009-11-02 Last updated: 2010-01-18Bibliographically approved

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