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This could be a sign you should have your bone health checked, says study

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Scientists urge Health care providers to consider osteoporosis screening for patients with these risk factors.

According to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, men with high levels of body fat have lower bone density and are more likely to break a bone than men with normal levels of body fat.

The majority of studies have found that body fat mass (the amount of fat in your body) has a positive or neutral influence on bone health. Lean mass is the weight of your complete body, minus fat, including organs, skin, and bones.

Patients with higher body weight are less likely to be evaluated for osteoporosis because health care professionals presume they have high bone density and are at low risk of fracture.

“We found that higher fat mass was related to lower bone density, and these trends were stronger in men than women,” says Rajesh K. Jain. “Our research suggests that the effect of body weight depends on a person’s makeup of lean and fat mass, and that high body weight alone is not a guarantee against osteoporosis.”

The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011-2018 to examine the bone mineral density and body composition of 10,814 people under the age of 60. In both men and women, they discovered a substantial link between lean mass and bone mineral density.

Conversely, fat mass demonstrated a significantly unfavorable correlation with bone mineral density, especially in men.

“Health care providers should consider osteoporosis screening for patients with high body weight, especially if they have other risk factors like older age, previous fracture, family history, or steroid use,” Jain adds.

Image Credit: Getty

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