Effect of Weight Change Following Intentional Weight Loss on Bone Health in Older Adults with Obesity

Objective

This study aimed to examine change in bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score among older adult weight regainers (WR) and weight maintainers (WM).

Methods

Observational data come from 77 older adults (mean age: 67 [SD 5] years; 69% women; 70% white) with obesity (mean BMI: 33.6 [SD  3.7] kg/m2) who lost weight during an 18‐month weight loss intervention. Total body mass and body composition, along with regional (total hip, femoral neck, lumbar spine) BMD and trabecular bone score, were measured at baseline, 18 months, and 30 months. WR (n = 36) and WM (n = 41) categories were defined as a ≥ 5% or < 5% weight gain from 18 to 30 months, respectively.

Results

Among skeletal indices, only total hip BMD was significantly reduced during the 18‐month intervention period in both WRs (−3.9%; 95% CI: −5.8% to −2.0%) and WMs (−2.4%; 95% CI: −4.3% to −0.5%; P = 0.07). After adjustment for relevant baseline covariates and weight change from 0 to 18 months, 30‐month change in total hip BMD was −2.6% (95% CI: −4.3% to −0.9%) and −3.9% (95% CI: −5.7% to −2.1%) among WRs and WMs, respectively (P = 0.07).

Conclusions

Loss of hip BMD persists in the year after a weight loss intervention among older adults with obesity, regardless of weight regain status.