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Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2007 Aug;51(6):943-9.

Influence of obesity on bone density in postmenopausal women.

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Division of Endocrinology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, RJ.



To evaluate the influence of obesity, age, and years since menopause on bone density.


A retrospective analysis of bone mineral density (BMD) obtained from 588 women, 41 to 60 years, previously menopaused (1-10 years before).


Positive influence of obesity was confirmed by the significant differences in BMD at lumbar spine, femoral neck (FN), and trochanter (TR) between the groups (p < 0.01). Age and years since menopause (YSM) were negatively correlated with BMD at all sites (p = 0.000). Comparing patients within 1 to < 6 YSM versus 6 to 10 YSM, BMD was higher in the former at LS and FN (p < 0.005), despite the higher BMI in the older group (p = 0.01). Obese patients had a lower prevalence of osteoporosis at LS and FN (p = 0.009). Regression analysis identified BMI as the strongest determinant of FN and TR BMD, while YSM was the strongest determinant of LS BMD.


The protective effect of obesity is overtaken by age and estradiol deficiency. We recommend that even obese postmenopausal women should be screened for osteoporosis.

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