The Association between BMI and QCT-Derived Proximal Hip Structure and Strength in Older Men: A Cross-Sectional Study

Jian Shen, Carrie M. Nielson, Lynn M. Marshall, David C. Lee, Tony M. Keaveny, Eric S. Orwoll

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23 Scopus citations


Although higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with higher bone mineral density, recent evidence indicates that increased BMI may not be consistently associated with reduced hip fracture risk. Moreover, substantial proportions of hip fractures occur among overweight and obese men and women. The role of increased BMI and obesity on bone density, structure, and strength at the hip is not well understood. We conducted cross-sectional analyses between BMI and various density and structure measures derived from quantitative computed tomography (QCT)-scans of the proximal femur, in 3067 men (mean age: 73 y) from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS). Finite element (FE) analysis of hip QCT scans was performed for a subcohort of 672 men to provide a measure of femoral strength for a simulated sideways fall. The impact force was estimated using patient-specific weight and height information. Multivariable general linear models were used to examine the associations between BMI and hip QCT measures. The relationship of BMI with hip QCT measures was significantly different between men categorized as non-obese and obese (P for interaction ≤ 0.014). For non-obese men (BMI < 30), increasing BMI was associated with higher integral, cortical and trabecular vBMD, integral volume, cross-sectional area, and percent cortical volume (all p<0.001). For obese men (BMI ≥30), increasing BMI was not associated with any of those parameters. In addition, compared to non-obese men, obese men had a higher hip strength, but also a higher ratio of impact force to strength (P <0.0001), in theory increasing their risk of hip fracture despite their increased strength. These results provide a better understanding of hip fracture risk in obese men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1301-1308
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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