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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.


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.