Influence of Obesity on Vertebral Fracture Prevalence and Vitamin D Status in Postmenopausal Women

A. El Maghraoui; S. Sadni; A. El Maataoui; A. Majjad; A. Rezqi; Z. Ouzzif; A. Mounach


Nutr Metab. 2015;12(44) 

In This Article


Background: It is well established that weight is an important determinant of bone health. Whereas obesity is associated with increased mortality and morbidity from diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, high body weight is widely believed to be associated to hypovitaminosis D and protective against the development of osteoporosis and fracture risk. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of BMI on vitamin D status and on densitometric vertebral fractures (VFs) in a large series of asymptomatic women aged over 50 who had a VFA examination during their bone mineral density (BMD) testing.

Methods: We enrolled 429 postmenopausal women (mean age, weight and BMI of 59.5 ± 8.3 (50 to 83) years, 75.8 ± 13.3 (35 to 165) kgs and 29.9 ± 5.2 (14.6 to 50.8) kg/m2, respectively. Lateral VFA images and scans of the lumbar spine and proximal femur were obtained using a Lunar Prodigy densitometer. VFs were defined using the Genant semiquantitative (SQ) approach. Clinical risk factors of osteoporosis were collected and 25-hydroxivitamin D was measured using electrochimiluminescence (Roche).

Results: Prevalence of osteoporosis and hypovitaminosis D (<20 ng/ml) was 21.0 % and 78.1 % respectively. VFs grade 2/3were identified in 76 (17.7 %). Comparison between women according to their BMI showed that obese women had a higher BMD and less proportion of women with osteoporosis and VFs grade 2/3 than lean and overweight women. The prevalence of VFs globally increased with age and as BMI and BMD declined. Stepwise regression analysis showed that the presence of osteoporosis was independently related to BMI and history of fractures while the presence of grade 2/3 VFs was independently related to age, hypovitaminosis D and years of menopause.

Conclusion: Obese women had a higher BMD and lower prevalence of VFs. VFs were significantly related to age, hypovitaminosis D and years since menopause. However, among obese women, prevalence of VFs was increased in osteoporotic women.