Effect of 1 year of an intentional weight loss intervention on bone mineral density in type 2 diabetes: results from the Look AHEAD randomized trial

J Bone Miner Res. 2012 Mar;27(3):619-27. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1483.


Intentional weight loss is an important component of treatment for overweight patients with type 2 diabetes, but the effects on bone density are not known. We used data from the Look AHEAD trial to determine the impact of an intensive lifestyle weight loss intervention (ILI) compared with diabetes support and education (DSE) on changes in bone mineral density (BMD) over 12 months. Overweight and obese adults with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to ILI or DSE. In a substudy of BMD conducted at 5 of 16 clinical centers, hip, spine, and whole body dual X-ray absorptiometry scans were obtained at baseline and 1-year later on 642 of 739 ILI and 632 of 740 DSE participants. At baseline, mean age was 58.4 years, and average body mass index was 35.2 kg/m(2). Total hip BMD T-score was <-2.5 in 1% and <-1.0 in 8%. At 1 year, weight loss was greater in ILI than DSE (-8.6% versus -0.7%), and glycemic control and fitness were also improved. Bone loss over 1 year was greater in ILI at the total hip (-1.4% versus -0.4%; p < 0.001) and femoral neck (-1.5% versus -0.8%; p = 0.009), but change in BMD for the lumbar spine and whole body did not differ between groups. In ILI, bone loss at the total hip was independently associated with weight loss in men and women and with poorer glycemic control in men, but was not associated with changes in fitness. One year of an intensive lifestyle intervention in adults with type 2 diabetes, resulting in weight loss, was associated with a modest increase in hip bone loss despite improved fitness and glycemic control.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00017953.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Aged
  • Bone Density*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Weight Loss*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00017953

Grant support