Bone mineral and predictors of bone mass in white, Hispanic, and Asian early pubertal girls

Calcif Tissue Int. 2007 Nov;81(5):352-63. doi: 10.1007/s00223-007-9074-5. Epub 2007 Nov 5.


Differences in bone among racial/ethnic groups may be explained by differences in body size and shape. Previous studies have not completely explained differences among white, Asian, and Hispanic groups during growth. To determine racial/ethnic differences and predictors of bone mass in early pubertal girls, we measured bone mineral content (BMC) in white, Hispanic, and Asian sixth-grade girls across six states in the United States. We developed models for predicting BMC for the total-body, distal radius, total-hip, and lumbar spine for 748 subjects. For each of the bone sites, the corresponding area from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was a strong predictor of BMC, with correlations ranging 0.78-0.98, confirming that larger subjects have more BMC. Anthropometric measures of bone area were nearly as effective as bone area from DXA at predicting BMC. For total-body, distal radius, lumbar spine, and total-hip BMC, racial/ethnic differences were explained by differences in bone area, sexual maturity, physical activity, and dairy calcium intake. Bone size explained most of the racial/ethnic differences in BMC, although behavioral indicators were also significant predictors of BMC.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Anthropometry
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Body Height / physiology
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Bone Development / physiology*
  • Calcium, Dietary / metabolism
  • Child
  • Continental Population Groups*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Growth and Development / physiology
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Puberty / physiology*
  • Skeleton


  • Calcium, Dietary