Osteoporosis in China

Y. Wang, Y. Tao, M. E. Hyman, J. Li, Y. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Based on related studies published between 1980 and May 2008, we examine the prevalence of osteoporoses in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Overall, the prevalence of osteoporosis among these Chinese populations remains low compared to other Caucasian populations; in the mainland, it was approximately 13%. Introduction: Osteoporosis is a significant public health problem and has received great attention in industrialized countries. However, limited is known in many developing countries including China, where aging and changing lifestyles likely contribute to increased osteoporosis. The objectives of the study is to examine the disease burden (prevalence) and time trends of osteoporosis in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Methods: Related studies published in English and Chinese between January 1980 and May 2008 were reviewed and analyzed. Results: The prevalence increased with age and varied dramatically based on local versus international diagnosis criteria. In the mainland, reported overall prevalence of osteoporosis based on nationwide surveys ranged from 6.6% to 19.3% (average∈=∈13.0%). The prevalence varied considerably across studies, and by regions, gender, and bone sites, but the urban to rural difference was small. In Hong Kong, the prevalence among women ≥ 50 years ranged from 34.1-37% in the spine; was 7% in the same aged men. In Taiwan, among those aged ≥ 50 years, average prevalence of osteoporosis was 11.4% in women and 1.6% in men. Conclusions: Future national programs need to monitor the burden of osteoporosis in China though available data indicate that the prevalence of osteoporosis remains low compared to that of other Caucasian populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1651-1662
Number of pages12
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone density
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Osteoporosis
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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