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Association between Sarcopenia and Reduced Bone Mass: Is Osteosarcopenic Obesity a New Phenotype to Consider in Weight Management Settings?

Sarcopenic obesity (SO) is a frequent phenotype in people with obesity; however, it is unclear whether this links with an impaired bone status. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association between SO and low bone mass, and to assess the prevalence of a new entity that combines excessive fat deposition, reduced muscle mass and strength, and low bone mass defined as osteosarcopenic obesity (OSO).

Body composition was completed by a DXA scan in 2604 participants with obesity that were categorized as with or without SO, and with low or normal bone mineral content (BMC). Participants with both SO and low BMC were defined as OSO.

Among the entire sample, 901 (34.6%) participants met the criteria for SO. This group showed a reduced mean BMC (2.56 ± 0.46 vs. 2.85 ± 0.57, < 0.01) and displayed a higher prevalence of individuals with low BMC with respect to those without SO (47.3% vs. 25.9%, < 0.01).

Logistic regression analysis showed that the presence of SO increases the odds of having low BMC by 92% [OR = 1.92; 95% CI: (1.60-2.31), < 0.05] after adjusting for age, body weight, and body fat percentage. Finally, 426 (16.4%) out of the total sample were affected by OSO.

Our findings revealed a strong association between SO and reduced bone mass in adults with obesity, and this introduces a new phenotype that combines body fat, muscle, and bone (i.e., OSO) and appears to affect 16% of this population.

Massimo Pellegrini


University of Modena and Reggio Emilia



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Publications Clinical Trials

Body Weight
Nutrition Disorders
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