Study shows obesity may increase risk for osteoporosis
A study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America found that having too much internal abdominal fat may increase the risk for osteoporosis.
"We know that obesity is a major public health problem," said the study's lead author, Miriam A. Bredella, a radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and assistant professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "Now we know that abdominal obesity needs to be included as a risk factor for osteoporosis and bone loss."
Bredella and colleagues evaluated the abdominal subcutaneous, visceral and total fat, as well as bone marrow fat and bone mineral density, in 50 premenopausal, obese patients.
The imaging revealed that women with more visceral fat had increased bone marrow fat and decreased bone mineral density. However, there was no significant correlation between either subcutaneous fat or total fat and bone marrow fat or bone mineral density.
"Our results showed that having a lot of belly fat is more detrimental to bone health than having more superficial fat or fat around the hips," Bredella said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 72 million American adults are considered obese.