• lifestyle;
  • hormones;
  • fat mass;
  • appendicular muscle mass;
  • bone mineral density;
  • aging


This study aimed to assess the relative importance of several determinants of bone mineral density (BMD) and to examine to what extent these potential determinants influence total hip BMD through body composition. The study population consisted of 522 participants (264 women and 258 men) of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA), aged 65 years and over, and living in Amsterdam and its vicinity. BMD of the total hip was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Potential determinants of BMD were age, weight change since age 25 years, lifestyle factors, chronic diseases, medication use, and hormonal factors. Potential mediators between the possible determinants and BMD were two measures of body composition: fat mass (FM) and appendicular muscle mass (AMM). Multiple regression analyses including all potential determinants in one model without body composition identified age, weight change, walking activity, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) as independent determinants for total hip BMD in women. In men, current smoking, participation in sports, and parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentration were independently associated with total hip BMD. When total hip BMD was regressed on the potential determinants and each measure of body composition, it appeared that FM, and to a lesser extent, muscle mass (MM), were independently related to BMD. In women, adjustment for FM reduced the strength of the associations of weight change, walking activity, and SHBG with total hip BMD. Adjustments for MM did not influence the associations between the determinants and BMD. In men, neither FM nor MM appeared to play a mediating role between the determinants and BMD. It can be concluded that (1) FM and MM are strong independent determinants of total hip BMD and that (2) FM possibly plays a mediating role in the association of weight change, walking activity, and SHBG with total hip BMD in women.