Pelvic fragility fractures result in significant morbidity and their incidence has increased over the past 30 years. One of the main risk factors in skeletal fragility is bone mineral density (BMD). Most of the current literature has focused on understanding spine and hip BMD. We aimed to measure the BMD of pelvis in a cohort of post-menopausal women and compare it to BMD at other skeletal sites. A questionnaire regarding risk factors for osteoporosis was completed by each participant. DXA scan of the pelvis was performed using research software. Three areas of the pelvis corresponding to common fractures were defined on pelvic DXA: R1 = symphysis public, R2 = inferior public rami, R3 = superior public rami. Pelvic BMD was calculated as the average BMD of R1-3. BMD at each location was reported as mean and standard deviation (SD). ANOVA was used to compare BMD between R1-R3 and pelvis, femoral neck, total hip, and spine. Pearson correlation was used to correlate pelvic BMD to BMD of proximal femur and spine. BMD was compared in four participant groups: 1- osteoporosis in spine and hip, 2- osteoporosis in spine only, 3-osteoporosis in hip only, and 4- no osteoporosis in spine and hip. The effect of diabetes and obesity on BMD at various skeletal sites was analyzed. Among the one hundred postmenopausal women enrolled in the study, age was: 64 ± 8, 31% were obese (BMI ≥ 30), and 8% had a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Pelvic area R3 had significantly higher BMD than R1 or R2 (p < 0.001). Pelvic BMD (0.50 ± 0.16) was significantly lower than total hip (0.70 ± 0.20) and spine BMD (0.97 ± 0.19) (p < 0.001). Pelvic BMD correlated with BMD at other skeletal locations, with the highest correlation with total hip (total hip: R2: 0.70, femoral neck R2: 0.50, spine R2: 0.65). Pelvic BMD was significantly lower in patients with osteoporosis of both hip and spine compared to the group without osteoporosis at both locations (p = 0.02). Obesity and type 2 diabetes were both associated with significantly higher BMD at pelvis, spine, and total hip. Pelvic BMD is lower than at other skeletal sites and is highly correlated with total hip area bone density. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are associated with higher pelvic BMD. To establish guidelines for the treatment pelvic BMD, studies defining the association of pelvic BMD with pelvic fracture risk are needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Densitometry
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Bone mineral density
  • DXA scan
  • Pelvic bone mineral density
  • Pelvic fracture
  • hip fracture


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