Osteoporosis screening of adults ages 40 to 60 who attended community-based adult training centers was conducted utilizing dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) measurements of the calcaneus. Valid measurements were obtained on 107 individuals, a response rate of 94%. One fifth of the sample (21%) had osteoporosis and 34% had osteopenia. On multiple regression analysis, the most significant predictors of BMD were Down syndrome, mobility status, and race. Future studies involving larger samples of middle-age adults with mental retardation/developmental disabilities will clarify the need and optimum age for osteoporosis screening.

The authors gratefully acknowledge Jean Gallagher, Rocky River Adult Training Center; Dorothy Hamlett, Southwest Adult Training Center; and the Cuyahoga County Board of Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities whose assistance and cooperation made this study possible. We also thank Kathryn Gaughan for her secretarial assistance, and Rachel VanGilder for help with data entry.

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