All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Nicole Nc Wright

Advisory Committee Members

Emily Bess El Levitan

Amy Aw Warriner

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) School of Public Health


IntroductionThis study examined the association between race and bone health, and if T2DM modifies this association in a diverse sample of adults. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study using the 2013-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examine Survey (NHANES) data. Bone health outcomes included lumbar spine BMD (lowered BMD based on T-scores <-1), and vertebral deformities, assessed via vertebral fracture assessment (VFA), including presence, number of deformities, and severity ratio of deformities. T2DM status and other demographic, lifestyle, and health characteristics were self-reported via questionnaire data. To assess if T2DM modifies the association between race and bone health outcomes, we conducted stratified analyses using logistic regression for dichotomous outcomes, Poison regression for count outcomes, and linear regression for continuous outcomes. Results Non-Hispanic (NH) Blacks have significantly less odds of being lowered BMD and osteoporosis comparing to NH-Whites in the crude model and significantly less odds of having vertebral deformities comparing to NH-White in both crude and adjusted model for non-diabetic participants. Such differences are not observed in diabetic groups. Participants in Other race group have significantly more odds of being lowered BMD comparing to NH-Whites in the adjusted model for both diabetic and non-diabetic groups. And have significantly more odds of having vertebral deformities in the diabetic group, crude and adjusted, yet the differences are not significant in non-diabetic groups. Similar results were seen in the number of deformities and total bone loss ratio. The potential modification effect of T2DM was not significant in these models. Conclusions In our national evaluation, bone health differs not only by race and ethnic group but also by T2DM status. The protective vertebral fragility effects observed among NH-Blacks was no longer present among those with diabetes. Likewise, among participants in other racial and ethnic groups, T2DM seemed to magnify the association of worse vertebral fragility. Such trends indicate a potential modifying effect of participants’ T2DM status and should be noted clinically, yet more studies are required for more precise results.

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