Osteoporosis health-related behavior among healthy peri-menopausal and post-menopausal Israeli Jewish and Arab women

Perla Werner, David Olchovsky, Iris Vered

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Health practices such as calcium-rich diet and exercise, are associated with the prevention of osteoporosis. Since studies showed that ethnic minorities are less involved in preventive practices, the aim of this study was to examine patterns and correlates of osteoporosis health-related behavior in Israeli-Jewish and Arab women. Methods: Interviews were conducted with 261 women aged 45 and older (70% Jewish). Health behavior included: physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, use of hormone replacement therapy, screening behavior, calcium intake, pharmacological prevention, and help-seeking patterns. Correlates included demographic variables, health characteristics (menopausal status, family history of osteoporosis), knowledge about osteoporosis, and beliefs (susceptibility and worries about developing osteoporosis). Results: Compared with Jewish participants, a lower percentage of Arab women engaged in physical activity, were on HRT, and had had bone density examinations. Their overall calcium intake was significantly lower as well. Levels of knowledge were moderate to low for the whole group, but more so among Arab women. Engaging in physical activities was associated with being menopausal and with having more knowledge among Jewish women, and with having more knowledge and lower rates of concern among Arab women. Conclusions: Expanding knowledge about osteoporosis may prove beneficial for increasing participation in preventive behavior in both groups. Special attention should be paid to different levels of education and to differences in subjects' needs and accessibility to sources of information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Arab women
  • Ethnic groups
  • Osteoporosis
  • Preventive behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging


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