Establishment of peak bone mass

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2003 Mar;32(1):39-63. doi: 10.1016/s0889-8529(02)00058-0.


Among the main areas of progress in osteoporosis research during the last decade or so are the general recognition that this condition, which is the cause of so much pain in the elderly population, has its antecedents in childhood and the identification of the structural basis accounting for much of the differences in bone strength among humans. Nevertheless, current understanding of the bone mineral accrual process is far from complete. The search for genes that regulate bone mass acquisition is ongoing, and current results are not sufficient to identify subjects at risk. However, there is solid evidence that BMD measurements can be helpful for the selection of subjects that presumably would benefit from preventive interventions. The questions regarding the type of preventive interventions, their magnitude, and duration remain unanswered. Carefully designed controlled trials are needed. Nevertheless, previous experience indicates that weight-bearing activity and possibly calcium supplements are beneficial if they are begun during childhood and preferably before the onset of puberty. Modification of unhealthy lifestyles and increments in exercise or calcium assumption are logical interventions that should be implemented to improve bone mass gains in all children and adolescents who are at risk of failing to achieve an optimal peak bone mass.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Bone Density / genetics
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Bone Development / genetics
  • Bone Development / physiology*
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology*
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Osteoporosis / genetics
  • Osteoporosis / pathology*