Relationship between bone density and abdominal visceral fat in premenopausal overweight and obese Iranian women aged 30–50 years

Abstract: Aim: The presence of a direct relationship between body mass index (BMI) and bone mineral density (BMD) is frequently reported. However, data on the relationship between visceral fat and bone density varies, with positive, negative or no relationship having been reported. This study aims to examine the relationship between abdominal visceral fat and BMD. Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out on 95 premenopausal, overweight and obese women aged 30– 50 years referred to Sina Hospital, Tehran, Iran in 2011–2012. Anthropometric indices and visceral fat levels were measured. Results: Multiple linear regression analysis showed that proximal femur BMD (P = 0.856) and lumbar spine BMD (P = 0.558) were not significantly related to visceral fat level. However, BMI had a direct and significant positive relationship with proximal femur BMD (P = 0.001) and lumbar spine BMD (P = 0.031). Menarche age was negatively related to lumbar spine BMD (P = 0.003). Conclusions: In this study, after adjusting for fat-free mass, no significant relationship was found between MBD of the proximal femur and lumbar spine, and visceral fat level or visceral fat to total fat percentage ratio. Therefore, abdominal visceral fat may not affect BMD, independent of weight. It seems that the positive relationship between BMI and proximal femur and lumbar spine BMD is due to the mechanical effects of weight on bones. Key words: bone density, pre-menopause, visceral fat.