Follicle-stimulating hormone level and changes in bone mass
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) may have independent actions on bone remodeling and body fat regulation. Cross-sectionally, researchers have shown that serum FSH is associated with bone mineral density (BMD) and body fat in older postmenopausal women, but it remains unknown whether FSH predicts bone and fat changes.

Researchers examined whether baseline FSH level is associated with subsequent bone loss or body composition changes in older adults.

They studied 162 women and 158 men (mean age 82 ±4 years) from the AGES-BMA cohort, a substudy of the AGES-Reykjavik Study of community-dwelling older adults. Skeletal health and body composition were characterized at baseline and 3 years later.

Annualized change in BMD and body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and quantitative computed tomography (QCT). Models were adjusted for serum estradiol and testosterone levels.

-- There was no evidence for an association between baseline FSH level and change in BMD or body composition by DXA or QCT.

-- For femoral neck areal BMD, adjusted mean difference (95% CI) per SD increase in FSH was 1.3 mg/cm 2/year in women, and -0.2 mg/cm 2/year in men.

-- For visceral fat, adjusted mean difference (95% CI) per SD increase in FSH was 1.80 cm 2/year in women, and -0.33 cm 2/year in men.

Conclusively, although cross-sectional studies and studies in perimenopausal women have demonstrated associations between FSH and BMD and body composition, in older adults, FSH level is not associated with bone mass or body composition changes.