Though still a topic of debate, the position that skeletal health is compromised with obesity has received support in the pediatric and adult literature. The limited data relating specifically to trabecular bone microarchitecture, however, have been relatively inconsistent. The aim of this pilot cross-sectional case-control study was to compare trabecular bone microarchitecture between obese (OB) and normal-weight (NW) late-adolescent females. A secondary aim was to compare diaphyseal cortical bone outcomes between these two groups. Twenty-four non-Hispanic white females, ages 18–19 years, were recruited into OB (n = 12) or NW (n = 12) groups based on pre-specified criteria for percent body fat (≥32 vs. <30, respectively), body mass index (>90th vs. 20th–79th, respectively), and waist circumference (≥90th vs. 25th–75th, respectively). Participants were also individually matched on age, height, and oral contraceptive use. Using magnetic resonance imaging, trabecular bone microarchitecture was assessed at the distal radius and proximal tibia metaphysis, and cortical bone architecture was assessed at the mid-radius and mid-tibia diaphysis. OB versus NW had lower apparent trabecular thickness (radius and tibia), higher apparent trabecular separation (radius), and lower apparent bone volume to total volume (radius; all P < 0.050). Some differences in radius and tibia trabecular bone microarchitecture were retained after adjusting for insulin resistance or age at menarche. Mid-radius and mid-tibia cortical bone volume and estimated strength were lower in the OB compared to NW after adjusting for fat-free soft tissue mass (all P < 0.050). These trabecular and cortical bone deficits might contribute to the increased fracture risk in obese youth.
- Insulin resistance
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Trabecular bone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine