Lean body mass (LM) has been positively associated with bone mineral density (BMD) in children and adolescents, but the relationship between body fat mass (FM) and BMD remains controversial. Several biomarkers secreted by adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, or bone may affect bone metabolism and BMD. We investigated the associations of LM, FM, and such biomarkers with BMD in children. We studied a population sample of 472 prepubertal Finnish children (227 girls, 245 boys) aged 6-8years. We assessed BMD, LM, and FM using whole-body dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and analysed several biomarkers from fasting blood samples. We studied the associations of LM, FM, and the biomarkers with BMD of the whole body excluding the head using linear regression analysis. LM (standardized regression coefficient β=0.708, p<0.001), FM (β=0.358, p<0.001), and irisin (β=0.079, p=0.048) were positive correlates for BMD adjusted for age, sex, and height in all children. These associations remained statistically significant after further adjustment for LM or FM. The positive associations of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), insulin, homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), leptin, free leptin index, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and the negative association of leptin receptor with BMD were explained by FM. The positive associations of DHEAS and HOMA-IR with BMD were also explained by LM. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D was a positive correlate for BMD adjusted for age, sex, and height and after further adjustment for FM but not for LM. LM and FM were positive correlates for BMD also in girls and boys separately. In girls, insulin, HOMA-IR, leptin, and free leptin index were positively and leptin receptor was negatively associated with BMD adjusted for age, height, and LM. After adjustment for age, height, and FM, none of the biomarkers was associated with BMD. In boys, leptin and free leptin index were positively and leptin receptor was negatively associated with BMD adjusted for age, height, and LM. After adjustment for age, height and FM, 25(OH)D was positively and IGF-1 and leptin were negatively associated with BMD. FM strongly modified the association between leptin and BMD. LM but also FM were strong, independent positive correlates for BMD in all children, girls, and boys. Irisin was positively and independently associated with BMD in all children. The associations of other biomarkers with BMD were explained by LM or FM.
Keywords: Body fat mass; Bone mineral density; Child; Cytokine; DXA; Lean body mass.
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