Hemoglobin Levels and Low Bone Mineral Density in Non-anemic Older Adults: Secondary Analysis of the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey


Although, previous studies have reported a positive association between hemoglobin levels and bone mineral density (BMD), the majority of the studies were limited in patients with chronic hypoxemic conditions and findings concerning the association among non-anemic populations are inconclusive. We aimed to examine the association between hemoglobin levels and BMD in non-anemic healthy adults.


This cross-sectional study included 3626 non-anemic men and women aged ≥ 60 years who participated in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). The BMD of the lumbar spine and both femurs was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Participants with T-score for BMD < -1.0 SD were defined as having low BMD. The odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for low BMD were calculated using multiple logistic regression analyses across sex-specific hemoglobin quartiles.


The prevalence of low BMD gradually decreased in accordance with hemoglobin quartiles in both sexes. Compared with the group in the lowest quartile, the OR (95% CI) for low BMD in the lumbar spine was 0.78 (0.54-0.93) for men and 0.67 (0.50-0.93) for women after adjusting for age, BMI, tobacco smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, and walking difficulty, household income, total calorie intake, calcium intake, and iron intake, 25(OH)D, alkaline phosphatase, and parathyroid hormone levels. However, these positive associations were not found in femur after adjusting for the same co-variables.


Hemoglobin levels were inversely associated with low BMD in lumbar spine among non-anemic adults.

 2019 Aug 20:110706. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2019.110706. [Epub ahead of print]