STUDY DESIGN: A wide range of socio-demographic characteristics of Chinese, Malay and Indian women attending routine gynecologic care in Singapore were prospectively collected. Physical performance was objectively measured by hand grip strength and the Short Physical Performance Battery. Percent VAT was determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Fasting serum concentrations of glucose, insulin, IL-6, TNF- α, and hs-CRP were measured.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: was insulin resistance, expressed as the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).
RESULTS: 1159 women were analyzed, mean age 56.3 (range 45-69) years, comprising women of Chinese (84.0%), Indian (10.2%), and Malay (5.7%) ethnic origins. The adjusted mean differences for obesity (0.66, 95% CI 0.32-1.00), VAT area in the highest vs lowest tertile (1.03, 95% CI 0.73-1.34), low physical performance (0.63, 95% CI 0.05-1.24), and highest vs lowest tertile of TNF- α (0.35, 95% CI 0.13-0.57) were independently associated with HOMA-IR. Women of Malay and Indian ethnicity had higher crude HOMA-IR than Chinese women. However, after adjustment for obesity, VAT, physical performance, and TNF- α, no differences in mean HOMA-IR remained, when comparing Chinese women with those of Malay ethnicity (0.27, 95% CI -0.12 to 0.66) and with those of Indian ethnicity (0.30, 95% CI -0.01 to 0.66).
CONCLUSIONS: Insulin resistance was independently associated with obesity, high VAT, low physical performance, and high levels of TNF- α in midlife Singaporean women. These variables entirely explained the significant differences in insulin resistance between women of Chinese, Malay and Indian ethnicity.
INTRODUCTION: A study published in 2001 predicted a 30-50% increase in Singapore hip fracture incidence rates over the ensuing 30 years. To test that prediction, we examined the incidence of hip fracture in Singapore from 2000 to 2017.
METHODS: We carried out a population-based study of hip fractures among Singapore residents aged ≥ 50 years. National medical insurance claims data were used to identify admissions with a primary discharge diagnosis of hip fracture. Age-adjusted rates, based on the age distribution of the Singapore population of 2000, were analyzed separately by sex and ethnicity (Chinese, Malay, or Indian).
RESULTS: Over the 18-year study period, 36,082 first hip fractures were recorded. Total hip fracture admissions increased from 1487 to 2729 fractures/year in the years 2000 to 2017. Despite this absolute increase, age-adjusted fracture rates declined, with an average annual change of - 4.3 (95% CI - 5.0, - 3.5) and - 1.1 (95% CI - 1.7, - 0.5) fractures/100,000/year for women and men respectively. Chinese women had 1.4- and 1.9-fold higher age-adjusted rates than Malay and Indian women: 264 (95% CI 260, 267) versus 185 (95% CI 176, 193) and 141 (95% CI 132, 150) fractures/100,000/year, respectively. Despite their higher fracture rates, Chinese women were the only ethnic group exhibiting a decline, most evident in those ≥ 85 years, in age-adjusted fracture rate of - 5.3 (95% CI - 6.0, - 4.5) fractures/100,000/year.
CONCLUSION: Although the absolute number of fractures increased, steep drops in elderly Chinese women drove a reduction in overall age-adjusted hip fracture rates. Increases in the older population will lead to a rise in total number of hip fractures, requiring budgetary planning and new preventive strategies.
PURPOSE: Information regarding mediators of differences in bone mineral density (BMD) among Asian ethnicities are limited. Since the majority of hip fractures are predicted to be from Asia, differences in BMD in Asian ethnicities require further exploration. We compared BMD among the Chinese, Malay, or Indian ethnicities in Singapore, aiming to identify potential mediators for the observed differences.
METHODS: BMD of 1201 women aged 45-69 years was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. We examined the associations between ethnicity and BMD at both sites, before and after adjusting for potential mediators measured using standardized questionnaires and validated performance tests.
RESULTS: Chinese women had significantly lower femoral neck BMD than Malay and Indian women. Of the more than 20 variables examined, age, body mass index, and height accounted for almost all the observed ethnic differences in femoral neck BMD between Chinese and Malays. However, Indian women still retained 0.047 g/cm2 (95% CI, 0.024, 0.071) higher femoral neck BMD after adjustment, suggesting that additional factors may contribute to the increased BMD in Indians. Although no crude ethnic differences in lumbar spine BMD were observed, adjusted regression model unmasked ethnic differences, wherein Chinese women had 0.061(95% CI, - 0.095, 0.026) and 0.065 (95% CI, - 0.091, 0.038) g/cm2 higher lumbar spine BMD compared to Malay and Indian women, respectively.
CONCLUSION: BMD in middle-aged Asian women differ by ethnicity and site. Particular attention should be paid to underweight women of Chinese ethnic origin, who may be at highest risk of osteoporosis at the femoral neck and hence hip fractures.