Belly fat may lead to vertebral fractures
Abdominal obesity contributes to a heightened risk of developing vertebral fracture (VF) in men, a study reports. In women, a large waist circumference (WC) confers a risk increase.
The analysis included 352,095 individuals who were representative of the Korean National Health Insurance System. Participants were aged ≥40 years who underwent health checkups between 2009 and 2012. Abdominal obesity was defined according to the Asian-specific WC cutoff, that is ≥90 cm in men and ≥85 cm in women.
Over 5.5 years of follow-up, a total of 2,030 and 4,968 new cases of VF were recorded in men and women, respectively. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression analysis revealed that men with versus without abdominal obesity had an elevated risk of VF (hazard ratio [HR], 1.11, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.01–1.23).
In women, on the other hand, the risk of VF increased accordingly in higher WC groups (ptrend<0.001). Relative to a WC of 80.0–84.9 cm, a WC 85.0–89.9 cm was associated with a 12-percent higher VF risk (HR, 1.12, 95 percent CI, 1.02–1.22), 90.0–94.9 cm with a 19-percent elevation (HR, 1.19, 95 percent CI, 1.08–1.32), and ≥95.0 cm with a 27-percent increase (HR, 1.27, 95 percent CI, 1.12–1.43). Meanwhile, WC <75.0 cm showed a protective association (HR, 0.81, 95 percent CI, 0.75–0.88). The estimates persisted despite stratification by age in women.
In light of the findings, trimming the WC and controlling abdominal obesity may be beneficial in reducing future VF risk.