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In the general population, low body weight and body mass index (BMI) are known and significant risk factors for any fracture, but the specific association between body weight, BMI, and prevalence of vertebral fractures in osteoporotic women is not fully recognized. In a paper recently published in Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism, Pirroand colleagues [1] suggest that, among postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, body weight and BMI are associated with a higher likelihood of having a vertebral fracture, irrespective of the positive association between weight and bone mineral density. Hence, the association between body weight, BMI and prevalent vertebral fractures was investigated in 362 women with never-treated postmenopausal osteoporosis. All participants underwent measurement of BMI, bone mineral density and semi-quantitative assessment of vertebral fractures. Thirty percent of participants had one or more vertebral fractures. Body weight and BMI were associated with L1–L4 bone mineral density (R = 0.29, p < 0.001 and R = 0.17, p = 0.009, respectively). According to statistical analysis, BMI and weight were positively associated with the presence of vertebral fractures independent of age and other traditional risk factors (age, height, early menopause, smoking and family history of fragility fractures).


  • Elena Calle Teixeira
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, ‘San Pablo Clinic, Lima, Peru


  1. Pirro M, Fabbriciani G, Leli C, et al. High weight or body mass index increase the risk of vertebral fractures in postmenopausal osteoporotic women. J Bone Miner Metab 2009; July 4 (E-pub ahead of print).
  2. Kurabayashi T, Nagata H, Takeyama N, Matsushita H, Tanaka K. Bone mineral density measurement in puerperal women as a predictor of persistent osteopenia. J Bone Miner Metab 2009;27:205-12.
  3. Pluijm SM, Steyerberg EW, Kuchuk NO, et al. Practical operationalizations of risk factors for fracture in older women: results from two longitudinal studies. J Bone Miner Metab 2009;24:534-42. Published March, 2009.
  4. Reid IR. Relationships between fat and bone. Osteoporos Int 2008;19:595-606.
  5. Gómez-Ambrosi J, Rodríguez A, Catalán V, Frühbeck G. The bone-adipose axis in obesity and weight loss. Obes Surg2008;18:1134-43.
  6. Olmos JM, Vázquez LA, Amado JA, Hernández JL, González Macías J. Mineral metabolism in obese patients following vertical banded gastroplasty. Obes Surg 2008;18:197-203.
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