Musculoskeletal Disorders

Asian women, including Asian-Indian women, are at a high risk for osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, because of the differences in bone mass and density between these groups Asian and Caucasian women are at higher risk for osteoporosis than African Americans and Hispanics. The musculoskeletal disorder may partly be explained due to widespread prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the south Asian population.

Vitamin D Deficiency

There is widespread Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) amongst all age groups in India (Goswami et al., 2008). Similar trend has been found in the immigrant South Asian population in the U.S.


It has noted in a couple of studies in UK that South Asians immigrants (Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis) had higher prevalence of widespread pain compared to the Europeans (Palmer et al., 2007; Njobvu, 1999). It was mostly musculoskeletal pain, and was more prevalent in women than in men. In addition, there was more of somatization of pain compared to that in Caucasian population.

Although the reason for this occurrence of pain is not clear, the authors suggest culture could play an important factor, however other explanations were Vitamin D deficiency, the level of acculturation, gender, communication barriers (language) or ethnicity of the provider (Palmer, 2007). Elderly patients may be stoic in expression of pain. It is important to observe nonverbal behavior.