Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 32, Issue 7, pp 1037–1044 | Cite as

Risk factors for body composition abnormalities in systemic sclerosis

  • Thais F. Marighela
  • Patrícia de S. Genaro
  • Marcelo M. Pinheiro
  • Vera L. Szejnfeld
  • Cristiane Kayser
Original Article


The aim of this study was to evaluate the body composition (BC), bone mineral density (BMD), and the food intake in women with systemic sclerosis (SSc) compared to a control group, in order to identify main risk factors for BC abnormalities in SSc. Sixty-one SSc women and 67 age- and gender-matched controls were included. Spine, femur, and total body BMD measurements were performed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. BC measurements included total lean (LM), fat mass (FM), and relative skeletal muscle mass index (RSMI) assessment. The food intake was calculated from 3-day food records and transformed into energy and nutrients. The 61 SSc patients [30 with diffuse cutaneous disease (dcSSc) and 31 with limited cutaneous SSc (lcSSc)] had significantly lower body mass index (BMI), LM, and FM, as well as lower BMD values compared to controls. Besides, the group with dcSSc, but not those with lcSSc, showed significantly lower BC and BMD measurements than controls. There was a significant inverse correlation between disease duration and BMI, LM, and RSMI. The total energy, macronutrients, and essential amino acids intakes were similar between patients and controls. After multivariate analysis, longer disease duration was the only risk factor associated with sarcopenia (RSMI below 5.45 kg/m2; OR = 1.36, 95 % CI 1.07–1.7). The present study showed an abnormal BC and a lower BMD, especially in dcSSc women, regardless of current food intake. Longer disease duration was associated with a higher risk of sarcopenia in SSc patients.


Body composition Bone mineral density DXA Food intake Systemic sclerosis 


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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thais F. Marighela
    • 1
  • Patrícia de S. Genaro
    • 2
  • Marcelo M. Pinheiro
    • 1
  • Vera L. Szejnfeld
    • 1
  • Cristiane Kayser
    • 1
  1. 1.Rheumatology DivisionUniversidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)São PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition, Faculdade de Saúde PúblicaUniversidade de São Paulo (USP)São PauloBrazil

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