Bone mineral density in Hispanic women: role of aerobic capacity, fat-free mass, and adiposity

Int J Sports Med. 2004 Jul;25(5):384-90. doi: 10.1055/s-2004-815839.


Understanding the etiology of factors influencing bone mineral density (BMD) in Hispanic women for the prevention of osteoporosis was the aim of this investigation. Whole body BMD (WBBMD) of 39 Hispanic, premenopausal women aged 22 - 51 years was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Maximal aerobic capacity ((.-)VO(2max)) was determined by treadmill ergometry with direct measurement of oxygen consumption. Fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass were estimated from two independent techniques, DXA and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). A questionnaire was administered to determine weekly physical activity, age of menarche, oral contraceptive (OC) use, parity, and lactation. Factors with significant correlation to WBBMD were weight ( r = 0.74), body mass index ( r = 0.66), fat mass ( r = 0.68 - 0.69), FFM ( r = 0.55 - 0.65), percent fat ( r = 0.43 - 0.55), sagittal diameter ( r = 0.58), waist circumference ( r = 0.53), hip circumference ( r = 0.66) and weekly activity ( r = 0.40). Stepwise multiple linear regression revealed that 73 % of the variance in WBBMD is attributed to fat mass (55 %), FFM (10 %), and (.-)VO(2max) (8 %). When BIA was used instead of DXA in the regression, (.-)VO(2max) was no longer an independent predictor of WBBMD. Fat mass and FFM accounted for 43 % and 20 % of the variance in WBBMD, respectively, explaining a total of 63 % of the variance. The addition of age, age of menarche, weekly physical activity, OC use, parity, and lactation did not make significant contributions to the variance. The findings of this study suggest that fat mass is a stronger predictor of bone mineral density than fat-free mass to BMD; aerobic capacity is another important predictor of BMD in Hispanic premenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Body Composition*
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Electric Impedance
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Mexican Americans
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Regression Analysis