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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2011 May;74(5):565-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2010.03965.x. Epub 2010 Dec 24.

Lean mass and fat mass predict bone mineral density in middle-aged individuals with noninsulin-requiring type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, The Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD, USA.



Despite high bone mineral density (BMD), persons with type 2 diabetes are at greater risk of fracture. The relationship between body composition and BMD in noninsulin-requiring diabetes is unclear. The aim was to examine how fat and lean mass independently affect the skeleton in this population.


Subjects for this cross-sectional analysis were men (n = 78) and women (n = 56) aged 40-65 years (56 ± 6 years) with uncomplicated, noninsulin-requiring type 2 diabetes. Total body fat and lean mass, total body, hip and lumbar spine BMD were measured with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Magnetic resonance imaging measured total abdominal, visceral and subcutaneous (SQ) fat.


Subjects had normal all-site BMD and were obese to overweight (body mass index 29-41 kg/m(2)) with controlled diabetes (HbA1c women 6·6 ± 1·2%, men 6·7 ± 1·6%). Lean mass was positively associated with total body, hip, femoral neck and hip BMD in both sexes. Fat mass, abdominal total and SQ fat were associated with total body and hip BMD in women. In multivariate analyses adjusted for sex, lean mass significantly predicted total, hip and femoral neck BMD in men and women. In unadjusted models, lean mass continued to predict BMD at these sites in men; fat mass also predicted total body, femoral and hip BMD in women.


In men and women with uncomplicated, noninsulin-requiring diabetes, lean mass significantly predicted BMD at the total body, hip and femoral neck. Further research is needed to determine whether acquisition or maintenance of lean mass in T2DM can prevent hip fracture in this at-risk population.

© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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