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Biores Open Access. 2018 Oct 10;7(1):150-158. doi: 10.1089/biores.2018.0025. eCollection 2018.

Lean Body Mass in the Prediction of Bone Mineral Density in Postmenopausal Women.

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School of Food and Nutrition, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Riddet Institute, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Food Nutrition and Health Team, Food and Bio-Based Products Group, AgResearch Grasslands, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge, Auckland, New Zealand.


Owing to conflicting results of the association between body composition and bone mineral density (BMD), we investigated the relationship between fat mass (FM), lean mass (LM), and BMD in New Zealand postmenopausal women. We hypothesized that increased LM will indicate a higher BMD. A cross-sectional study was performed examining the associations between body composition, anthropometric measures, activity energy expenditure, and bone health status (using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry [DXA]). A total of 127 healthy postmenopausal women aged between 54 and 81 years. Both FM and LM were significantly associated with BMD at all sites. However, LM, not FM, was the strongest predictor of femoral neck (FN) BMD (β = 0.497, p < 0.001), hip BMD (β = 0.495, p < 0.001), spine BMD (β = 0.449, p < 0.001), and whole body BMD (β = 0.406, p < 0.001). Age was negatively associated with FN and hip BMD. LM was positively associated with FN, spine, hip, and whole body BMD. Our findings suggest the need to increase LM rather than FM highlighting the importance of physical activity for this age group.


bone mineral density; fat mass; lean mass; postmenopausal women

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