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Central and peripheral fat body mass have a protective effect on osteopenia or osteoporosis

Posted December 29, 2015

This cross-sectional study involves randomly selected men aged 50 to 99 years and postmenopausal women. Either central fat mass or peripheral fat mass were associated to osteoporosis or osteopenia independently from fat-free body mass and other confounding factors.


Obesity and osteoporosis are public health problems that probably share common pathophysiological mechanisms. The question if body fat mass, central or peripheral, is protective or harmful for osteoporosis or osteopenia is not completely resolved. This study aims to investigate the association between osteoporosis or osteopenia, and fat body mass (central and peripheral) independently from fat-free body mass, in men aged 50 to 99 years old and postmenopausal women randomly selected in the community.


This is a cross-sectional investigation with a random sample of registered population in Niterói Family Doctor Program (FDP), State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bone mineral density (BMD) and fat-free mass were assessed by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).


There was statistically significant bivariate association between bone loss with gender, age, skin color, alcohol consumption at risk dose, use of thiazide, fat-free body mass, and fat body mass (central and peripheral). In the multiple analysis of fat-free body mass, central and peripheral fat body mass showed an independent and protective effect on the presence of osteoporosis or osteopenia (p value <0.001).


Since both obesity and osteoporosis are public health problems worldwide, strategies aimed at preventing both conditions should be encouraged during aging.

Source: PubMed

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