This study investigated the relationship between cortical bone mass in an older female population and their ingestion of fluoride from community water supplies. The study was conducted among lifelong female residents in Lordsburg (3.5 ppm fluoride) and Deming (0.7 ppm fluoride), NM. A total of 151 postmenopausal women ranging in age from 39 to 87 years took part; 69 were residents of the optimal-fluoride community, while the remaining 82 were residents of the high-fluoride community. Although bivariate analyses showed no difference in cortical bone mass between women in the two communities, with multiple regression analyses, significant predictors of bone mass (p less than 0.05) were weight, years since menopause, current estrogen supplementation, diabetes, and fluoride exposure status. Based on a model containing all of these variables, women living in the high-fluoride community had a bone mass ranging from 0.004 to 0.039 g/cm2 less than that of similar women living in the optimum-fluoride community. These results suggest that lifelong ingestion of water containing 3.5 ppm fluoride, compared with water containing 0.7 ppm fluoride, does not increase cortical bone mass in women of similar age, weight, and menopausal status. Under the conditions of this study, cortical bone mass might be reduced in a high-fluoride area.