- •A population-based study with 572 community adults of disabilities.
- •A high prevalence of low bone mineral density among adults with disabilities.
- •Few participants possessed awareness of bone health and received early treatment.
- •It is necessary for osteoporosis interventions and prevention in this population.
Low bone mineral density (BMD) is a silent disease that can lead to osteoporosis and is a serious health problem worldwide. People with disabilities are especially at risk for fall-related death.
To examine the prevalence of low bone mineral density and associated risk factors among adults with disabilities in Taiwan.
We conducted a population-based, cross-sectional study in 2013; the participants were 572 community adults with disabilities over the age of 20 years. Statistical analyses used to evaluate the association included chi-squared tests, ANOVA, and logistic regression.
Over one-third of the participants had an intellectual disability, 26% physical disability, and the remainder had a combination of disabilities. Of the participants, 62.5% had abnormal bone mineral density, and 21.8% met the criteria for osteoporosis. After adjusting for potential confounding variables, the determinant risk factors for low bone mineral density were age (β = −.14, p = 0.002), gender (β = −.12, p = 0.004), and level of physical activity (β = .1, p = 0.024). The majority of participants with low BMD were not aware of abnormal bone density, and only 2.4% had received treatment.
This study identified a high prevalence of low bone mineral density among adults with disabilities; few of the participants possessed awareness of bone health, and very few received early treatment or information on prevention of osteoporosis. The enhancement of osteoporosis interventions and health promotion programs to prevent osteoporosis and related problems are necessary for this population.