Abstract The bone mineral density of the lumbar spine (L2 to L4) and neck of the femur of 293 Chinese women aged 21 to 40 years was measured using a dual x-ray densitometer. The participants were recruited from subjects registered with the University Family Medicine Clinic in Hong Kong. Our cross-sectional data showed that maximal bone mass occurs in the early 30s. Both the spine and hip bone masses were observed to decline at a rate of around 1% per annum from the early 30s onward. Body weight, lean body mass, and body fatness were significantly associated with the mineral density of the spinal and femoral bones after or around the attainment of peak bone mass, while no correlation of these data was observed in the younger age group (20 to 28 years). Other factors may play a more important role than body mass in influencing bone mineral density before attainment of peak bone mass.