Bone mineral density in healthy adult Indian population: the Chandigarh Urban Bone Epidemiological Study (CUBES)

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Archives of osteoporosis


Osteoporosis is a disease with a high burden of morbidity. For its accurate diagnosis, using indigenous data as reference standards is needed. However, normative data on bone density is lacking in India. Therefore, we aimed to determine the reference range for bone density for the healthy population of north India. INTRODUCTION: Osteoporosis is a major public health problem around the globe including India, resulting in significant morbidity, mortality, and health care burden. However, the reference values used for its diagnosis are largely based on data from the western population, which may lead to over- or underdiagnosis of osteoporosis in Indians. Our study aimed to determine the reference range for bone mineral density for the healthy population of India. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study of 825 subjects (men 380, women 445) (median age: 41 years, IQR 32-55 years), recruited by a house-to-house survey. The population was stratified into decade-wise groups and biochemical measurements including renal and liver function tests, glycated hemoglobin, serum calcium, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone, and bone mineral density were performed in all the subjects. The T-scores for men aged > 50 years and post-menopausal women were calculated based on the data generated from this study in young men and women aged 20-40 years. RESULTS: According to the BMD manufacturer's data, which is based on the western population, 70% of the Indian men (> 50 years) and 48% of the post-menopausal Indian women had osteopenia while 18% of the men and 25% of the women had osteoporosis. However, according to the re-calculated T-scores from the current study, only 56% and 7.2% of men and 33% and 5% of women had osteopenia and osteoporosis, respectively. An age-related decline in bone mineral density, as seen in the western population, was also seen in both Indian men and women. CONCLUSION: We have established a reference database for BMD in healthy Indian adult population, which may have clinical implications for the diagnosis and intervention strategies for the management of osteoporosis.

PubMed ID






First Page