Overweight children have a greater proportion of fat mass relative to muscle mass in the upper limbs than in the lower limbs: implications for bone strength at the distal forearm

Ducher, Gaele; Bass, Shona L; Naughton, Geraldine A; Eser, Prisca; Telford, Richard D; Daly, Robin M (2009). Overweight children have a greater proportion of fat mass relative to muscle mass in the upper limbs than in the lower limbs: implications for bone strength at the distal forearm. American journal of clinical nutrition, 90(4), pp. 1104-11. Bethesda, Md.: American Society for Nutrition, Inc. 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28025

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BACKGROUND: The influence of adiposity on upper-limb bone strength has rarely been studied in children, despite the high incidence of forearm fractures in this population. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to compare the influence of muscle and fat tissues on bone strength between the upper and lower limbs in prepubertal children. DESIGN: Bone mineral content, total bone cross-sectional area, cortical bone area (CoA), cortical thickness (CoTh) at the radius and tibia (4% and 66%, respectively), trabecular density (TrD), bone strength index (4% sites), cortical density (CoD), stress-strain index, and muscle and fat areas (66% sites) were measured by using peripheral quantitative computed tomography in 427 children (206 boys) aged 7-10 y. RESULTS: Overweight children (n = 93) had greater values for bone variables (0.3-1.3 SD; P < 0.0001) than did their normal-weight peers, except for CoD 66% and CoTh 4%. The between-group differences were 21-87% greater at the tibia than at the radius. After adjustment for muscle cross-sectional area, TrD 4%, bone mineral content, CoA, and CoTh 66% at the tibia remained greater in overweight children, whereas at the distal radius total bone cross-sectional area and CoTh were smaller in overweight children (P < 0.05). Overweight children had a greater fat-muscle ratio than did normal-weight children, particularly in the forearm (92 +/- 28% compared with 57 +/- 17%). Fat-muscle ratio correlated negatively with all bone variables, except for TrD and CoD, after adjustment for body weight (r = -0.17 to -0.54; P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Overweight children had stronger bones than did their normal-weight peers, largely because of greater muscle size. However, the overweight children had a high proportion of fat relative to muscle in the forearm, which is associated with reduced bone strength.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Rheumatology, Clinical Immunology and Allergology

UniBE Contributor:

Eser, Prisca

ISSN:

0002-9165

Publisher:

American Society for Nutrition, Inc.

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:11

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:22

Publisher DOI:

10.3945/ajcn.2009.28025

PubMed ID:

19710192

Web of Science ID:

000269956700028

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/31417 (FactScience: 195924)

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