Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Men with belly fat at risk for osteoporosis

Date:
November 28, 2012
Source:
Radiological Society of North America
Summary:
Visceral, or deep belly, obesity is a risk factor for bone loss and decreased bone strength in men, according to a new study.

Visceral, or deep belly, obesity is a risk factor for bone loss and decreased bone strength in men, according to a study presented November 28 at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"It is important for men to be aware that excess belly fat is not only a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes, it is also a risk factor for bone loss," said Miriam Bredella, M.D., radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 37 million American men over age 20 are obese. Obesity is associated with many health problems, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, sleep apnea and joint diseases. Yet despite all the health issues, it was commonly accepted that men with increased body weight were at lower risk for bone loss.

"Most studies on osteoporosis have focused on women. Men were thought to be relatively protected against bone loss, especially obese men," Dr. Bredella said.

But not all body fat is the same. Subcutaneous fat lies just below the skin, and visceral or intra-abdominal fat is located deep under the muscle tissue in the abdominal cavity. Genetics, diet and exercise are all contributors to the level of visceral fat that is stored in the body. Excess visceral fat is considered particularly dangerous, because in previous studies it has been associated with increased risk for heart disease.

After the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study -- a multi-center observational study designed to determine risk factors for osteoporosis -- indicated that male obesity was associated with fracture risk, the researchers wanted to quantify belly fat and study its impact on bone strength.

Dr. Bredella and her team evaluated 35 obese men with a mean age of 34 and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 36.5. The men underwent CT of the abdomen and thigh to assess fat and muscle mass, as well as very high resolution CT of the forearm and a technique called finite element analysis (FEA), in order to assess bone strength and predict fracture risk.

"FEA is a technique that is frequently used in mechanical engineering to determine the strength of materials for the design of bridges or airplanes, among other things," Dr. Bredella said. "FEA can determine where a structure will bend or break and the amount of force necessary to make the material break. We can now use FEA to determine the strength or force necessary to make a bone break."

In the study, the FEA analysis showed that men with higher visceral and total abdominal fat had lower failure load and stiffness, two measures of bone strength, compared to those with less visceral and abdominal fat. There was no association found between age or total BMI and bone mechanical properties.

"We were not surprised by our results that abdominal and visceral fat are detrimental to bone strength in obese men," Dr. Bredella said. "We were, however, surprised that obese men with a lot of visceral fat had significantly decreased bone strength compared to obese men with low visceral fat but similar BMI."

The results also showed that muscle mass was positively associated with bone strength.

Coauthors are Eleanor Lin, M.D., Mary L. Bouxsein, Ph.D., Martin Torriani, M.D., Bijoy J. Thomas, M.D., Anu V. Gerweck, N.P., and Karen Miller, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Radiological Society of North America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Radiological Society of North America. "Men with belly fat at risk for osteoporosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121128093806.htm>.
Radiological Society of North America. (2012, November 28). Men with belly fat at risk for osteoporosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121128093806.htm
Radiological Society of North America. "Men with belly fat at risk for osteoporosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121128093806.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins