In premenopausal women, low bone density may reflect attainment of a lower peak bone mass which can increase risk of osteoporosis after menopause. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between total body, lumbar spine, and proximal femur bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition and oral contraceptive (OC) use in 18-30 year old women. Sixty-five healthy women, split into groups of oral contraceptive users (OC, n = 36) and non oral contraceptive users (Non-OC, n = 29), completed Baecke physical activity, calcium intake, and menstrual history questionnaires. Total body, AP lumbar spine, and dual proximal femur scans were performed using Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA). Body composition measures were obtained from the total body scan analysis. No significant differences were found for BMD in OC users and non-users. Bone free lean body mass (BFLBM) and weight were positively correlated to all BMD sites, and fat mass was related to total body and L1-L4 spine BMD (p < 0.05). Stepwise regression analyses determined that weight was a significant predictor for all BMD sites (p < 0.05). When separating the two components of body weight, BFLBM was a significant predictor for all BMD sites, and fat mass only predicted total body BMD. In conclusion, this study indicates that weight and BFLBM are significant contributors to BMD in young healthy premenopausal women, and OC use did not influence the relationship between BMD and BFLBM.

Comments_for_the_authors_rebuttal.doc (46 kB)
Point by point rebuttal of reviewers' comments.