Skeletal muscle fat content is inversely associated with bone strength in young girls

Joshua N. Farr, Janet L. Funk, Zhao Chen, Jeffrey R. Lisse, Robert M. Blew, Vinson R. Lee, Monica Laudermilk, Timothy G. Lohman, Scott B. Going

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Childhood obesity is an established risk factor for metabolic disease. The influence of obesity on bone development, however, remains controversial and may depend on the pattern of regional fat deposition. Therefore, we examined the associations of regional fat compartments of the calf and thigh with weight-bearing bone parameters in girls. Data from 444 girls aged 9 to 12 years from the Jump-In: Building Better Bones study were analyzed. Peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) was used to assess bone parameters at metaphyseal and diaphyseal sites of the femur and tibia along with subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT, mm 2) and muscle density (mg/cm 3), an index of skeletal muscle fat content. As expected, SAT was positively correlated with total-body fat mass (r=0.87-0.89, p<.001), and muscle density was inversely correlated with total-body fat mass (r=-0.24 to -0.28, p<.001). Multiple linear regression analyses with SAT, muscle density, muscle cross-sectional area, bone length, maturity, and ethnicity as independent variables showed significant associations between muscle density and indices of bone strength at metaphyseal (β=0.13-0.19, p<.001) and diaphyseal (β=0.06-0.09, p<.01) regions of the femur and tibia. Associations between SAT and indices of bone strength were nonsignificant at all skeletal sites (β=0.03-0.05, p>.05), except the distal tibia (β=0.09, p=.03). In conclusion, skeletal muscle fat content of the calf and thigh is inversely associated with weight-bearing bone strength in young girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2217-2225
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Volume26
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

Keywords

  • BONE STRENGTH
  • FEMALE
  • MUSCLE QUALITY
  • PERIPHERAL QUANTITATIVE COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY (PQCT)
  • SKELETAL MUSCLE FAT CONTENT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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