Body composition and vertebral fracture risk in female patients treated with glucocorticoid
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Glucocorticoid (GC) causes bone loss and an increase in bone fragility. However, fracture risk was found to be only partly explained by bone mineral density in GC-treated patients (GC patients). Although GC causes a change in the distribution of fat in the body, the relationship between body composition and fracture risk in GC patients remains unknown.
The present study examined the relationship between the presence or absence of vertebral fractures and various indices, including body composition, in 92 premenopausal GC patients, 122 postmenopausal GC patients and 122 postmenopausal age-matched control subjects. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was employed to analyze body composition.
Percentage lean body mass (LBM), % fat and % trunk fat were not significantly different between postmenopausal GC patients and the control women. When groups with and without vertebral fractures were compared, % LBM and % fat were significantly higher and lower in groups with vertebral fractures, respectively, in postmenopausal GC patients, but not in the postmenopausal control women, although % trunk fat was not significantly different between groups with and without vertebral fractures. Femoral neck BMD was negatively correlated with % LBM and positively correlated with % fat. In premenopausal GC patients, % trunk fat was significantly higher in the fracture group, although % LBM and % fat were not significantly different between groups with and without vertebral fractures.
The present study revealed that body composition is related to vertebral fracture risk in GC-treated patients. Lower % fat can be included in the determination of vertebral fractures in postmenopausal GC-treated patients. The influence of body composition on vertebral fracture risk may be different between the pre- and postmenopausal state in GC patients.