Bone mineral density loss in relation to the final menstrual period in a multiethnic cohort: Results from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)



The objective of this study was to describe the time of onset and offset of bone mineral density (BMD) loss relative to the date of the final menstrual period (FMP); the rate and amount of BMD decline during the 5 years before and the 5 years after the FMP; and the independent associations between age at FMP, body mass index (BMI), and race/ethnicity with rates of BMD loss during this time interval. The sample included 242 African American, 384 white, 117 Chinese, and 119 Japanese women, pre- or early perimenopausal at baseline, who had experienced their FMP and for whom an FMP date could be determined. Loess-smoothed curves showed that BMD loss began 1 year before the FMP and decelerated (but did not cease) 2 years after the FMP, at both the lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN) sites. Piecewise, linear, mixed-effects regression models demonstrated that during the 10-year observation period, at each bone site, the rates and cumulative amounts of bone loss were greatest from 1 year before through 2 years after the FMP, termed the transmenopause. Postmenopausal loss rates, those occurring between 2 and 5 years after the FMP, were less than those observed during transmenopause. Cumulative, 10-year LS BMD loss was 10.6%; 7.38% was lost during the transmenopause. Cumulative FN loss was 9.1%; 5.8% was lost during the transmenopause. Greater BMI and African American heritage were related to slower loss rates, whereas the opposite was true of Japanese and Chinese ancestry. © 2012 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research