Background

Studies in childhood suggest that both body composition and early postnatal growth are associated with bone mineral density (BMD). However, little is known of the relationships between longitudinal changes in fat (FM) and lean mass (LM) and bone development in pre-pubertal children. We therefore investigated these associations in a population-based mother-offspring cohort, the Southampton Women’s Survey.

Conclusion

In this study, gain in childhood LM was positively associated with bone size and trabecular vBMD at 6–7 years of age. In contrast, no relationships between change in FM and bone were observed, suggesting that muscle growth, rather than accrual of fat mass, may be a more important determinant of childhood bone development.

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