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Tracking of areal bone mineral density from age eight to young adulthood and factors associated with deviation from tracking: A 17-year prospective cohort study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 17:48 authored by Yang, Y, Feitong WuFeitong Wu, Tania WinzenbergTania Winzenberg, Graeme JonesGraeme Jones
We have previously shown that bone mineral density (BMD) tracks strongly from age 8 to 16 years. This study aimed to describe whether this strong tracking continued to age 25 years and describe factors associated with deviation from tracking. Ninety-nine participants were followed from age 8 to 25 years and 197 participants from age 16 to 25 years. Outcomes measured were BMD at the spine, hip, and total body (by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry [DXA]). Other factors measured were anthropometrics, inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) use, history of being breastfed, sports participation, fitness (by physical work capacity [PWC170]), lean mass (LM), and fat mass (FM) (by DXA). There was moderate to strong tracking of BMD from age 8 to 25 years (correlation coefficients: males, 0.59 to 0.65; females, 0.70 to 0.82) and strong tracking from age 16 to 25 years (males, 0.81 to 0.83; females, 0.84 to 0.88) after adjustment for change in body size. From age 8 to 25 years, 54% to 56% of participants kept their BMD tertile position. PWC170 at age 8 years, relative and absolute change in LM, and sports participation at age 25 years predicted males would improve their tertile position or remain in the highest tertile of spine or hip BMD. However, relative and absolute change in FM had the opposite association in males while absolute change in FM predicted positive deviation in females. From age 16 to 25 years, LM, PWC170, sports participation at age 16 years, and change in LM, PWC170, and sports participation at age 25 years predicted positive deviation in males. LM at age 16 years was positively associated and PWC170 negatively associated with positive deviation in females. BMD tracks from childhood to early adulthood in both males and females. There appears to be greater capacity to alter tracking before age 16 years. Increasing LM in both sexes and improving fitness and sports participation in males during growth might be effective strategies to improve BMD in early adulthood.


Publication title

Journal of Bone and Mineral Research










Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Amer Soc Bone & Mineral Res

Place of publication

2025 M St, N W, Ste 800, Washington, USA, Dc, 20036-3309

Rights statement

© 2017 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified

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