BACKGROUND: It is widely acepted that muscle strength and bone mineral density have a significant positive correlation and most previous literature focus on the association between specific muscle groups and adjacent bones. This study examined the association of grip strength with bone density at distant sites, such as spine and femur area in peri- and postmenopausal women. METHODS: The study subjects were 30 perimenopausal and 108 post menopausal women aged 40 years older. Bone mineral density was measured in both the dominant and nondominant hands using a dynamometer. Other data was gathered from the questionnaire. RESULTS: Significant negative correlations were noted between spinal and femoral bone mineral density and age and post menopausal duration, and significant positive correlations were fiund between spinal and femoral bone mineral density and body wweight, height, body mass index and both grip strength. Those who exercised had significantly higher spinal bone mineral density than those who did not and smokers had significantly lower spinal bone density than nonsmokers. There was no significant difference in bone mineral density by estrogen and calcium use. The multiple regression analysis examined the associatrion of grip strength in the dominant hand to a bone mineral density after adjustment for the confounding covariates. CONCLUSION: Weak grip strength in the dominant hand is a marker for lower bone mineral density in peri- and postmenopausal women. Grip strength can be a useful index of osteoporosis.