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02-05-2011 | Bone health | Article

Race does not impact BMD, abdominal fat relationship


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MedWire News: Bone mineral density (BMD) is inversely associated with abdominal visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (VAT and SAT) in White and African-American men and women, US research shows.

Furthermore, the association did not differ by race or gender, report Peter Katzmarzyk and colleagues from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.

"Recent population studies have shown that African Americans have higher BMD and higher rates of obesity than White Americans," write the researchers in the journal Bone.

"Several studies have documented a negative relationship between VAT and BMD; however, the degree to which racial differences in BMD can be explained by differences in total or depot-specific adiposity is not known," they add.

Katzmarzyk and team therefore studied the association between BMD and abdominal VAT and SAT among 330 White women, 328 African-American women, 307 White men, and 116 African-American men, aged 18-74 years.

The researchers used dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and computed tomography to measure BMD, and abdominal VAT and SAT, respectively, in each of the participants.

Overall, VAT and SAT negatively correlated with BMD, after adjustment for lean body mass (LBM) and age. The team observed similar results when they divided the participants into their four "gender-by-race" groups.

Multiple regression analysis showed that LBM, gender, and race were significant predictors of BMD, such that being African American, male, and having high LBM were all positively associated with BMD.

Katzmarzyk et al found that the race and gender interactions with VAT or SAT were not significant, which they say indicates that the inverse relationship between abdominal body fat and BMD is similar across all gender and race groups.

The team concludes by suggesting that "future research should examine how abdominal fat influences BMD in specific skeletal regions susceptible to fracture, such as femoral neck, lumbar spine, and hip."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Laura Dean

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