Age determines longitudinal changes in body composition better than menopausal and bone status: The OFELY study



Long-term body composition (BC) changes and their determinants have been rarely explored. We aimed to evaluate BC changes in French women from the Os des Femmes de Lyon (OFELY) cohort and to explore several determinants of those changes. At baseline, premenopausal (PreM) women (n = 145) had lower fat body mass (FM) and greater lean body mass (LM), relative skeletal muscle mass index (RASM), and total body bone mineral content (TBBMC) compared with untreated postmenopausal (PostM) women (n = 412). During a 6-year follow-up, LM and RASM did not change, whereas a significant increase of FM and a decrease of TBBMC were observed in PreM (n = 88) and PeriM women (n = 44; women who became PostM during the follow-up). In untreated PostM women, FM increased, whereas LM, RASM, and TBBMC decreased (p < 0.0001). Age was a significant determinant of the changes in BC. After controlling for age, menopausal status was still a significant determinant only for changes in TBBMC. FM, LM, RASM, and TBBMC were higher in women with normal bone mineral density (BMD) compared with women with osteopenia or osteoporosis (p < 0.0001), but after adjusting for age, changes of BC were not significantly different according to the bone status. After controlling for age and menopausal status, levels of P1NP in the highest quartile were associated with a greater decrease of LM and RASM compared with lower levels. In conclusion, BC changes in French women over a 6-year follow-up showed a high interindividual variability. Aging may be the most important determinant of changes in body composition, rather than menopausal and bone status. © 2012 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research