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Linear Growth Outpaces Bone Accrual, Risking Fracture

JAMA Pediatr; ePub 2017 Jul 3; McCormack, et al

Children gain height faster than they gain bone mineral content, which may increase their risk of fractures later in life, according to a study of over 2,000 healthy children, adolescents, and young adults. The study yielded the following results:

  • By age 7 years, children have already reached up to 74.5% of their maximal adult height, but only up to 38.1% of the maximal bone mineral content.
  • Teens gained as much as 35.8% of their maximal bone mineral content during the 4 years around their peak height velocity.
  • Up to 10.7% of the maximal bone mineral content is achieved during late adolescence.
  • The lag in mineral content relative to height gain puts individuals at greater risk of fracture and may warrant clinical and public health efforts to build bone mass.

Citation:

McCormack SE, Cousminer DL, Chesi A, et al. Association between linear growth and bone accrual in a diverse cohort of children and adolescents. [Published online ahead of print July 3, 2017]. JAMA Pediatr. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.1769.