Objective: This study aimed to examine whether total, regional, and organ fat predicts bone marrow adipose tissue (BMAT) fat content and to explore whether BMAT fat content differs by sex among Latino youth. Methods: Latino youth (n = 86; age 13.6 [1.4] years, 62% male) with obesity (BMI percentile = 98.5% [1.2%]) underwent a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan to assess body composition and a magnetic resonance imaging scan to determine abdominal adiposity, liver fat, and vertebral BMAT fat content in the thoracic (average of T8-T12) and lumbar (average of L1-L5) spine. Results: Male youth exhibited significantly greater thoracic (male youth = 30.8% [1.4%] vs. female youth = 24.5% [2.1%], p = 0.027) and lumbar (male youth = 36.3% [1.5%] vs. female youth = 30.2% [2.2%], p = 0.038) BMAT fat content compared with female youth. Visceral adipose tissue was a significant predictor of thoracic (β = 0.434, t = 3.016, p = 0.003) and lumbar (β = 0.389, t = 2.677, p = 0.009) BMAT fat content, explaining 8.9% and 6.9% of the variance, respectively. Liver fat was a significant predictor of both thoracic (β = 0.487, t = 4.334, p < 0.001) and lumbar (β = 0.436, t = 3.793, p < 0.001) BMAT fat content, explaining 17.6% and 13.8% of the variance, respectively. Conclusions: Male youth had significantly greater thoracic and lumbar BMAT fat content than female youth. Greater BMAT fat content is associated with greater liver fat and visceral adipose tissue among youth with obesity. Further investigation of the mechanistic underpinnings of BMAT may help to differentiate its metabolic and bone-related functions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics