Research Article| Volume 27, ISSUE 1, P55-60, May 1997

The effect of body composition on bone density in pre- and postmenopausal women

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.


      Objectives: To investigate the relative contribution of body composition (lean and fat) to bone mineral density (BMD), 196 premenopausal and 128 postmenopausal Japanese women were enrolled. Methods: Total fat mass, total lean mass, lumbar BMD (L2–L4), and total body BMD were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA, Hologic QDR 2000, MA, USA). Physical characteristics were also recorded for each subject. Correlation between BMD and variables were calculated for each of the two groups in single and stepwise regression analyses. Results: Total lean mass was significantly higher in premenopausal women than postmenopausal women (P < 0.0001), while body weight, body mass index, and total fat mass were not different between the two groups. In stepwise regression analysis, total lean mass was the most powerful determinant of lumbar BMD and total body BMD in premenopausal women. In postmenopausal women, total fat mass was the most significant determinant of lumbar BMD, while total lean mass was the most significant determinant of total body BMD. Conclusions: These findings suggest that there is a difference between pre- and postmenopausal women in the relative contribution of lean and fat mass. Total lean mass is the most significant determinant of BMD in premenopausal women. On the other hand, total fat mass may have some advantages in maintaining BMD in postmenopausal women.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Maturitas
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Shiraki M
        • Ito H
        • Fujimaki H
        • Higuchi T
        Relation between body size and bone mineral density with special reference to sex hormone and calcium regulating hormones in elderly females.
        Endocrinol Jpn. 1991; 38: 343-349
        • Bauer DC
        • Browner WS
        • Cauley JA
        • et al.
        Factor associated with appendicular bone mass in older women. The study of osteoporotic fractures research group.
        Ann Intern Med. 1993; 118: 657-665
        • Reid IR
        • Legge M
        • Stapleton JP
        • Evans MC
        • Grey AB
        Regular exercise dissociation fat mass and bone density in premenopausal women.
        J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1995; 80: 1764-1768
        • Nishizawa Y
        • Koyama H
        • Shoji T
        • et al.
        Obesity as a determinant of regional bone mineral density.
        J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 1991; 37: 65-70
        • Kreiger N
        • Kelsey JL
        • Holford TR
        • O'Connor T
        An epidemiological study of hip fracture in postmenopausal women.
        Am J Epidemiol. 1982; 116: 141-148
        • Sowers MR
        • Kshirsagar A
        • Crutchfield MM
        • Updike S
        Joint influence of fat and lean body composition compartment on femoral bone mineral density in premenopausal women.
        Am J Epidemiol. 1992; 136: 141-148
        • Mazess RB
        • Barden HS
        • Bisek JP
        • Hanson J
        Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry for total-body and regional bonemineral and soft tissue composition.
        Am J Clin Nutr. 1990; 51: 1106-1112
        • Mazess RB
        • Barden HS
        • Ohlrich ES
        Skeletal and bodycomposition effect of anorexia nervosa.
        Am J Clin Nutr. 1990; 52: 438-441
        • Ley CL
        • Lees B
        • Stevenson JC
        Sex- and menopause-associated changes in body-fat distribution.
        Am J Clin Nutr. 1992; 55: 950-954
        • Ellis KJ
        • Yasumura S
        • Vartsky A
        • Vaswani AN
        • Cohn SH
        Total body nitrogen in health and disease: effect of age, weight, height, and sex.
        J Lab Clin Med. 1982; 99: 917-926
        • Forwood MR
        • Burr DB
        Physical activity and bone mass: exercise in futility.
        Bone Miner. 1993; 21: 89-112
        • Shaw J
        • Snow-Harter C
        • Robinson T
        • Wegner M
        • Shelley A
        Lean body mass and lumbar spine bone mineral density in premenopausal women.
        Med Sci Sport Exerc. 1993; 25: S153
        • Slemenda CW
        • Hui SL
        • Williams CJ
        • Christian JC
        • Meaney FJ
        • Johnston Jr, CC
        Bone mass and anthropometric measurement in adult females.
        Bone Miner. 1990; 11: 101-109
        • Reid IR
        • Ames R
        • Evans MC
        • et al.
        Determinants of total body and regional bone mineral density in normal postmenopausal women — a key role for fat mass.
        J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1992; 75: 45-51
        • Reid IR
        • Evans MC
        • Cooper GJ
        • Ames RW
        • Stapleton J
        Circulating insulin levels are related to bone density in normal postmenopausal women.
        Am J Physiol. 1993; 265: 655-659
        • Bevier WC
        • Wiswell RA
        • Pyka G
        • et al.
        Relationship of body composition, muscle strength, and aerobic capacity to bone mineral density in older men and women.
        J Bone Miner Res. 1989; 4: 421-432
        • Seo GS
        • Shiraki M
        • Aoki J
        • Karakida O
        • Aoki C
        Effect of disuse on bone mineral content, lean mass, and fat mass in osteoarthritic patients.
        J Bone Miner Metab. 1996; 14: 167-170
        • Pocock N
        • Eisman J
        • Gwinn T
        • et al.
        Muscle strength, physical fitness, and weight but not age predict femoral neck bone mass.
        J Bone Miner Res. 1989; 4: 441-448