It is becoming increasingly apparent that the risk of developing osteoporosis is accrued throughout the entire lifecourse, even from as early as conception. Thus early growth is associated with bone mass at peak and in older age, and risk of hip fracture. Novel findings from mother-offspring cohorts have yielded greater understanding of relationships between patterns of intrauterine and postnatal growth in the context of later bone development. Study of biological samples from these populations has helped characterize potential mechanistic underpinnings, such as epigenetic processes. Global policy has recognized the importance of early growth and nutrition to the risk of developing adult chronic noncommunicable diseases such as osteoporosis; testing of pregnancy interventions aimed at optimizing offspring bone health is now underway. It is hoped that through such programs, novel public health strategies may be established with the ultimate goal of reducing the burden of osteoporotic fracture in older age.
Keywords: BONE MASS; EPIGENETIC; FRACTURE; GROWTH; INTRAUTERINE; LIFECOURSE; VITAMIN D.
© 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.