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Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jan;83(1):146-54.

Relation of body composition, fat mass, and serum lipids to osteoporotic fractures and bone mineral density in Chinese men and women.

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Program for Population Genetics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.



Higher fat mass may be an independent risk factor for osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures.


We aimed to determine the independent contribution of fat mass to osteoporosis and to estimate the risk of osteoporotic fractures in relation to body weight, lean mass, and other confounders.


This was a community-based, cross-sectional study of 7137 men, 4585 premenopausal women, and 2248 postmenopausal women aged 25-64 y. Total-body and hip bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Serum lipids were measured. Sex- and menopause-specific multiple generalized linear models were applied.


Across 5-kg strata of body weight, fat mass was significantly inversely associated with BMC in the whole body and total hip. When we compared the highest quartile with the lowest quartile of percentage fat mass in men, premenopausal women, and postmenopausal women, the adjusted odds ratios (95% CIs) of osteoporosis defined by hip BMD were 5.2 (2.1, 13.2), 5.0 (1.7, 15.1), and 6.9 (4.3, 11.2), respectively. Significant linear trends existed for higher risks of osteoporosis, osteopenia, and nonspine fractures with higher percentage fat mass. Significant negative relations were found between whole-body BMC and cholesterol, triacylglycerol, LDL, and the ratio of HDL to LDL in all groups.


Risks of osteoporosis, osteopenia, and nonspine fractures were significantly higher for subjects with higher percentage body fat independent of body weight, physical activity, and age. Thus, fat mass has a negative effect on bone mass in contrast with the positive effect of weight-bearing itself.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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