A new study published in the journal Osteoporosis International explores the relationship between bone density, body weight and fractures.
Researchers at the University of Leeds, Newcastle University and Durham University evaluated 342 men and women aged 62 for bone density, body mass index and previous and existing vertebral fractures.
The findings showed that individuals with obesity were more likely to have spinal deformities and fractures compared with normal weight individuals. It was found that although obese people have denser bones, they lack the necessary strength appropriate to their weight. Thus, their bone density is disproportionate to their body weight.
Researchers suggest that obese individuals not being adequately stable on their feet are more likely to experience falls, and the impact of falls is substantial owing to their weight. Spinal compression deformities are likely to result from sustained heavy pressure on the spine. While underweight individuals are known to have an increased risk for fractures, the study indicates that obesity is also a risk factor for osteoporotic fractures.