Osteoporosis, defined by low bone mineral density (BMD), is common among postmenopausal women. The distribution of BMD varies across populations and is shaped by both environmental and genetic factors. Because the candidate gene vitamin K epoxide reductase complex subunit 1 (VKORC1) generates vitamin K quinone, a cofactor for the gamma-carboxylation of bone-related proteins such as osteocalcin, we hypothesized that VKORC1 genetic variants may be associated with BMD and osteoporosis in the general population. To test this hypothesis, we genotyped six VKORC1 SNPs in 7,159 individuals from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). NHANES III is a nationally representative sample linked to health and lifestyle variables including BMD, which was measured using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) on four regions of the proximal femur. In adjusted models stratified by race/ethnicity and sex, SNPs rs9923231 and rs9934438 were associated with increased BMD (p=0.039 and 0.024, respectively) while rs8050894 was associated with decreased BMD (p=0.016) among non-Hispanic black males (n=619). VKORC1 rs2884737 was associated with decreased BMD among Mexican-American males (n=795; p=0.004). We then tested for associations between VKORC1 SNPs and osteoporosis, but the results did not mirror the associations observed between VKORC1 and BMD, possibly due to small numbers of cases. This is the first report of VKORC1 common genetic variation associated with BMD, and one of the few reports available that investigate the genetics of BMD and osteoporosis in diverse populations.