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20-09-2010 | Bone health | Article

Women with metabolic syndrome have high bone mineral density


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MedWire News: Women with metabolic syndrome have higher bone mineral density (BMD) than healthy controls, research shows.

However, despite their greater bone mass and lower bone turnover, fracture prevalence is not reduced in these women, according to José Hernández (University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain) and colleagues in the journal Menopause.

"Because patients with metabolic syndrome have a higher bone mass, a decrease in fractures should theoretically be expected," comment the researchers.

The findings indicate that either bone quality has deteriorated in these women or they have a greater propensity to fall than their peers without metabolic syndrome.

Cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis are both age-related chronic conditions that have been linked in previous studies. However, the association between metabolic syndrome, itself a strong risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and osteoporosis is less understood.

In this cross-sectional study, Hernández and colleagues analyzed data from more than 1500 men and women.

Women with metabolic syndrome had higher age-adjusted BMD at the lumbar spine (average 0.942 vs 0.909 g/cm2), femoral neck (0.755 vs 0.709 g/cm2), and hip (0.886 vs 0.831 g/cm2) than women without metabolic syndrome. After adjusting for body mass index, the difference at the spine and neck disappeared, but remained for total hip BMD.

Conversely, there was no significant difference in BMD between men with and without metabolic syndrome. The results therefore suggest that the impact of metabolic syndrome on bone is sex-dependent, state the researchers.

Bone remodeling was also decreased among women, a finding in line with the bone density pattern, the team notes.

Despite this, no significant differences in vertebral and nonvertebral fractures were observed among those with and without the metabolic syndrome.

Hernández et al also considered the effects of metabolic syndrome on calciotropic hormones and found that 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) was significantly lower and parathyroid hormone was significantly higher in women with metabolic syndrome compared with women without the syndrome.

However, these differences did not affect bone homeostasis, report the researchers.

The group notes that 25OHD levels are known to be inversely related to weight, which forms an element of the metabolic syndrome. Indeed, the women with metabolic syndrome had a higher average body mass index than did women without the metabolic syndrome, at 31.6 kg/m2 versus 27.7 kg/m2.

They therefore conclude that the greater BMD found among women with metabolic syndrome seems to be driven mainly by their higher body weight, compared with women without the disease.

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