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Prospective changes in the distribution of movement behaviors are associated with bone health in the elderly according to variations in their frailty levels

Rodríguez-Gómez I1,2, Mañas A1,2, Losa-Reyna J1,2,3, Rodríguez-Mañas L2,4, Chastin SFM5,6, Alegre LM1,2, García-García FJ2,3, Ara I1,2.

J Bone Miner Res. 2020 Feb 20. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3988. [Epub ahead of print]

Frailty is associated with poor bone health and osteoporosis, and physical activity (PA) is one of the best treatments for both pathologies in older adults. Nonetheless, because daily time is limited, how the time is distributed during the waking hours is critical. The waking hours are spent according to different movement behaviors: sedentary behaviors (SB), light physical activity (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The aim of this study was to use compositional data analyses to examine the effects of the change in movement behaviors on bone health during aging in older people, related to the changes in their frailty levels. We analyzed 227 older people aged 65 to 94 [125 women and 102 men] over a 4-year period. Movement behaviors were assessed using accelerometry. Both bone mineral density (BMD) and content (BMC) were determined using bone densitometry. The Frailty Trait Scale was used to divide the sample by frailty level evolution during aging. The statistical system-R was used for the compositional data analysis and, in addition, all models were adjusted for several covariates. The changes in the distribution of all movement behaviors within a waking hours period were significantly associated with spine and femoral neck BMD changes in the subgroup with a positive change in frailty level and spine BMC in the subgroup with no change in frailty level (p ≤ 0.05). Likewise, MVPA relative to the change in other movement behaviors was also associated in both subgroups with higher BMD and BMC, respectively, in the same body areas (p ≤ 0.05). No significant associations were found in the negative change in frailty level subgroup. Older people who achieved a positive change in frailty level during a 4-year period showed higher BMD changes compared to those with no changes or increases in their frailty level. Therefore, increasing MVPA relative to the change in the other movement behaviors during a 4 year-period could perhaps produce bone health improvements in elderly that do not worsen their frailty level.