BMI and BMD: The potential interplay between obesity and bone fragility

Andrea Palermo, Dario Tuccinardi, Giuseppe Defeudis, Mikiko Watanabe, Luca D’Onofrio, Angelo Pantano Lauria, Nicola Napoli, Paolo Pozzilli, Silvia Manfrini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recent evidence demonstrating an increased fracture risk among obese individuals suggests that adipose tissue may negatively impact bone health, challenging the traditional paradigm of fat mass playing a protective role towards bone health. White adipose tissue, far from being a mere energy depot, is a dynamic tissue actively implicated in metabolic reactions, and in fact secretes several hormones called adipokines and inflammatory factors that may in turn promote bone resorption. More specifically, Visceral Adipose Tissue (VAT) may potentially prove detrimental. It is widely acknowledged that obesity is positively associated to many chronic disorders such as metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes, conditions that could themselves affect bone health. Although aging is largely known to decrease bone strength, little is yet known on the mechanisms via which obesity and its comorbidities may contribute to such damage. Given the exponentially growing obesity rate in recent years and the increased life expectancy of western countries it appears of utmost importance to timely focus on this topic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number544
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Body composition
  • Fracture
  • Inflammation
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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