This study aims to examine cross-sectional and longitudinal relations between dietary intake of isoflavones and bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN) in black, white, Chinese, and Japanese women during the menopausal transition.
We tested whether tertiles of isoflavone intake were associated with baseline BMD when all women were premenopausal or early perimenopausal. To analyze whether isoflavone intake was associated with longitudinal BMD, we fitted piecewise linear models to repeated measurements of baseline-normalized LS or FN BMD as functions of time before or after the final menstrual period (FMP) date.
Multiply adjusted mean FN BMD values of premenopausal Japanese women were monotonically positively related to isoflavone consumption (P for trend = 0.0003). Otherwise, no statistically significant baseline associations were observed. During the period of 1 year before the FMP through 5 years after the FMP, all participants lost LS and FN BMD. Loss was unrelated to isoflavone intake, except for Japanese women during the period of 1 year before the FMP to 2 years after the FMP: higher tertiles of isoflavone intake were associated with greater annual LS BMD loss rates (P for trend = 0.01) and FN loss rates (P for trend = 0.04).
In Japanese women, higher isoflavone intake is associated with higher peak FN BMD but also with greater rates of LS and FN BMD loss during the menopausal transition. Results for the other racial/ethnic groups did not support a relation between dietary intake of isoflavones and either peak BMD or BMD loss during the menopausal transition.