The aim of this study was to understand the effects of projective bone area (BA) size of the spine on bone density and the diagnosis of osteoporosis. Measurements of BA, bone mineral content (BMC), areal bone density (aBMD) and volumetric bone density (vBMD) at the posteroanterior (PA) lumbar spine (vertebrae L2-L4) followed by a paired PA/lateral spine (L2-L4) were made using a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) fan-beam bone densitometer (Hologic QDR 4500A) in 1436 healthy pre-menopausal women aged from 20 to 56-years-old. At the PA and lateral lumbar spine, there was a significant positive correlation between BA and BMC (r=0.762 and 0.762, p=0.000) and aBMD (r=0.370 and 0.352, p=0.000), but not vBMD (r=0.000 and 0.102, p=0.813 and 0.063). When BA at the PA spine changed by one standard deviation (SD), BMC and aBMD correspondingly changed by 12.6% and 4.3% on the basis of their respective means while vBMD indicated no change. When a variation of 1 SD was observed in BA at the lateral spine, BMC, aBMD and vBMD correspondingly changed by 13.8%, 4.4% and 1.73% on the basis of their respective means. Through an intercomparison among large, intermediate and small BA groups, significant differences were found in the means of subject's height, weight, BMC and aBMD at the PA and lateral spine as well as the detection rate of osteoporosis by aBMD (p=0.000). Detection rates of osteoporosis by aBMD at the PA, lateral spine and vBMD in healthy pre-menopausal women aged from 40 years to 56 years were 4.5%, 16.4% and 9.7%, respectively, in the small BA group; 1.3%, 6.4% and 7.3%, respectively, in the intermediate BA group; and 0, 0 and 5.5%, respectively, in the large BA group. No significant differences were found in the detection rates of osteoporosis by vBMD among the groups. The results of multiple linear regression revealed that the major factors influencing BA of the lumbar spine was height. In healthy pre-menopausal women of the same race and age, the BA size of the lumbar spine would have significant influence upon aBMD and the diagnosis of osteoporosis, i.e. the larger the BA, the greater the aBMD and the lower the osteoporosis detection rate while conversely, the smaller the BA, the smaller the aBMD and the higher the osteoporosis detection rate. Though vBMD does not change with BA sizes of the lumbar spine, it is a sensitive marker for diagnosing osteoporosis.