Inflammation and Bone Density in Older Adults: What’s The Relationship?

Older adults tend to have some issues with bone density and osteoporosis. Does inflammation, however, also effect bone mineral density (BMD) in older adults? In a study in Osteoporosis International, researchers aimed to assess if higher inflammation in older adults correlates to lower bone density 


The analysis of the study was based on 194 men and 171 women of the Hertfordshire Cohort Study (community-living, older adults). Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was performed at the lumbar spine and proximal femur at baseline and repeated at a median of 4.5 years (inter-quartile range 3.6 to 5.2), and the participants’ bone density in their hips and spines were assessed. To examine the associations between markers of inflammation and outcomes, a gender-adjusted linear regression was used and was adjusted appropriately for anthropometric and lifestyle factors.  

Study results showed that lower levels of interleukin-10 (IL-10) was associated with faster decline in bone density at the spine. “In a cohort of older adults, high levels of adiponectin and adiponectin to leptin ratios were both associated with lower BMD at the lumbar spine and femoral neck at baseline, and lower IL-10 was associated with accelerated decline in BMD at the lumbar spine,” the researchers concluded. “This adds weight to the theory that bone health can be influenced by changes in immune phenotype and alterations in adipokine homeostasis. 

SOURCE: Osteoporosis International