MedWire News: The influence of fat mass and lean mass on bone mineral density (BMD) varies by gender and menopausal status, a South Korean health survey indicates.
The Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey involved a population-based sample of 12,722 Korean adults aged between 19 and 93 years.
Participants were assessed for body composition, BMD, and menopausal status, and the present analysis included 6792 individuals for whom complete data were available.
The cohort comprised 1613 men aged below 50 years, 1400 men aged 50 years and above, 2120 premenopausal women, and 1629 postmenopausal women.
In analyses that adjusted for a raft of potential confounders, study author Kayoung Lee (Inje University, Busan) found that people with low BMD (defined as the lowest quintile) were significantly more likely to be shorter in stature than those with higher BMD, and to have total body weight, lower total fat mass, and lower total lean mass.
In the overall cohort, higher fat mass and higher lean mass were each associated with higher total BMD and a lower risk for having low BMD.
These associations were significant only in some patient subgroups, however. Specifically, higher lean mass was associated with a lower risk of low BMD in both men and women, whereas higher fat mass was associated with a higher risk of low BMD only in men aged under 50 years.
"The current results provide evidence in support of the hypothesis that the combined effects of lean mass and fat mass on an increased risk of low BMD are different according to gender, age group, and menopausal status," concludes Lee.
"These findings reinforce evidence from previous studies that lower lean mass enhances the risk of low BMD in all groups. Additionally, these findings suggest that the unfavorable effect of lower lean mass is stronger in men under age 50 years with higher fat mass and in other groups with lower fat mass."
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