Balance Predictive of Low BMD in Postmenopausal Women With Osteopenia

Osteodensitometry of the hip with an osteoporosis.
Researchers determined whether balance and functional mobility predicted bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and osteopenia.

Among women with recent menopause diagnosed with osteoporosis, osteopenia, and normal bone mineral density (BMD), balance and functional mobility are predictive of low BMD, according to results of a cross-sectional study published in Geriatric Nursing.

Researchers sought to determine whether clinical measures of balance and functional mobility were predictive of low BMD in postmenopausal women.

Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) was used to measure BMD at the hip and spine. Participants performed the single leg stance (SLS) test, the timed-up-and-go (TUG) test, and the 6-meter walking test (6MWT). Participants were enrolled in the study from the Bone Density Testing Center in Shahid Motahari Specialist Medical Clinic in Shiraz, Iran, as well as from posters, flyers, and newspapers; and were aged between 50 and 60 years and were postmenopausal for at least 1 year. A total of 60 women were included in the study and were divided into 3 groups (osteoporosis, n=20; osteopenia, n=20; normal BMD, n=20) based on DEXA T-scores. All participants completed a health questionnaire, which included their current age, age at menopause, and all other pertinent medical information.

Among women with osteoporosis, 35% had osteoporosis at both the total hip and spine, 45% at the spinal site only, and 20% at the total hip site only. Among women with osteopenia, 66% had osteopenia at both the total hip and spine, 21% at the spine only, and 13% at the total hip region only.

Results of the study showed that 3 factors were significantly predictive of low BMD in the study population, including shorter time to hold the SLS (odds ratio [OR], 0.50; P <.001), longer TUG time (OR, 2.85; P =.006), and older age (OR, 1.31; P =.033). Age at menopause, the 6MWT, and body mass index were not significant predictors of low BMD.  

Study limitations included the fact that the findings were only generalizable to postmenopausal women with recent menopause diagnosed with osteoporosis, osteopenia, and normal BMD, and the lack of collection of data on physical activity levels, which may have affected the study results.

Researchers concluded that women with recent menopause diagnosed with osteoporosis are at high risk for fracture. “Our research suggests that incorporating the SLS and TUG into risk assessments for postmenopausal women may facilitate prompt and targeted intervention,” they added.


Sadeghi H, Ashraf A, Zeynali N, Ebrahimi B, Jehu DA. Balance and functional mobility predict low bone mineral density among postmenopausal women undergoing recent menopause with osteoporosis, osteopenia, and normal bone mineral density: a cross-sectional study. Geriatr Nurs. 2020;42(1):33-36. doi:10.1016/j.gerinurse.2020.10.020

This article originally appeared on Rheumatology Advisor