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Body fat has stronger associations with bone mass density than body mass index in metabolically healthy obesity.

PLoS One. 2018;13(11):e0206812 Authors: Chen YY, Fang WH, Wang CC, Kao TW, Chang YW, Wu CJ, Zhou YC, Sun YS, Chen WL

OBJECTIVE: The effect of obesity-induced metabolic abnormalities on bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis are well established. However, the association between metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) and BMD remains unclear. Our aim was to investigate whether different obesity phenotypes in MHO were associated with BMD in a cross-sectional study. METHODS: All eligible adults receiving a health examination at the Tri-Service General Hospital from 2010 to 2016 were included. They were categorized based on body mass index (BMI) or percentage body fat (PBF). The associations between BMI or PBF and BMD were analyzed by adjusting for pertinent covariables. RESULTS: Males with normal weight and overweight and females with underweight and normal weight were associated with reduced BMD (β = 0.221, 95%CI = -0.354, -0.088; β = -0.155, 95%CI = -0.286, -0.023) (β = -0.736, 95%CI = -1.043, 0.429; β = -0.340, 95%CI = -0.567, -0.112), respectively. Females in Q1 had close to significant associations with reduced BMD (β = -0.253, 95%CI = -0.465, -0.041). Normal weight, overweight, Q2, and Q3 had stronger prediction of low BMD with ORs of 0.402 (95%CI = 0.204-0.791), 0.539 (95%CI = 0.321-0.905), 0.694 (95%CI = 0.490-0.982), and 0.466 (95%CI = 0.342-0.636), respectively. The relationship remained significant in male population that PBF was associated with reduced BMD with ORs of 0.435 (95%CI = 0.203, 0.935), 0.494 (95%CI = 0.247, 0.991), 0.268 (95%CI = 0.120, 0.597) in Q1, Q2, Q3 respectively. CONCLUSION: Increased PBF had a significant association with low BMD in the MHO population. Obesity defined by PBF might be a useful indicator for low BMD. The association between body fat and bone health deserves further investigation regarding the potential pathophysiological mechanisms. PMID: 30408060 [PubMed - in process]

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