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Relative Contributions of Lean and Fat Mass to Bone Mineral Density: Insight From Prader-Willi Syndrome


Context: Low bone mineral density (BMD) is the most important risk factor for fragility fracture. Body weight is a simple screening predictor of difference in BMD between individuals. However, it is not clear which component of body weight, lean (LM), or fat mass (FM), is associated with BMD. People with the genetic disorder of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) uniquely have a reduced LM despite increased FM. Objective: We sought to define the individual impact of LM and FM on BMD by investigating subjects with and without PWS. Design, Setting and Participants: This cross-sectional study was conducted at the Clinical Research Facility of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, with PWS and control participants recruited from a specialized PWS clinic and from the general public by advertisement, respectively. The study involved 11 adults with PWS, who were age- and sex-matched with 12 obese individuals (Obese group) and 10 lean individuals (Lean group). Main Outcome Measures: Whole body BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Total body FM and LM were derived from the whole body scan. Differences in BMD between groups were assessed by the analysis of covariance model, taking into account the effects of LM and FM. Results: The PWS group had significantly shorter height than the lean and obese groups. As expected, there was no significant difference in FM between the Obese and PWS group, and no significant difference in LM between the Lean and PWS group. However, obese individuals had greater LM than lean individuals. BMD in lean individuals was significantly lower than in PWS individuals (1.13 g/cm(2) vs. 1.21 g/cm(2), p < 0.05) and obese individuals (1.13 g/cm(2) vs. 1.25 g/cm(2), p < 0.05). After adjusting for both LM and FM, there was no significant difference in BMD between groups, and the only significant predictor of BMD was LM. Conclusions: These data from the human genetic model Prader-Willi syndrome suggest that LM is a stronger determinant of BMD than fat mass.

Type Journal
ISBN 1664-2392 (Print) 1664-2392 (Linking)
Authors Viardot, A.; Purtell, L.; Nguyen, T. V.; Campbell, L. V.
Responsible Garvan Author Prof Lesley Campbell
Publisher Name Frontiers in Endocrinology
Published Date 2018-09-07
Published Volume 9
Published Pages 480
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.3389/fendo.2018.00480
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version