Assessment of age and risk factors on bone density and bone turnover in healthy premenopausal women

Osteoporos Int. 1994 May;4(3):123-8. doi: 10.1007/BF01623056.


The influence of age and risk factors on bone density and bone turnover was evaluated in 249 healthy premenopausal women. Risk factors were assessed by standardized questionnaires and included reproductive history and lifestyle factors (intake of calcium and vitamin D supplements, consumption of caffeine, smoking habits and physical activity). Bone mineral density (BMD) measurements were obtained in the distal forearm, the lumbar spine and the proximal femur. Bone turnover were assessed by plasma bone Gla proteins (pBGP) and fasting urinary hydroxyproline corrected for creatinine (fUHPr/Cr). Peak bone density seems to be achieved before the age of 30 years, whereafter we found no appreciable bone loss at any skeletal site. Accordingly, the levels of pBGP and fUHPr/Cr were increased before the age of 30, whereafter the values stabilized at a lower level. A dairy calcium intake above 660 mg/day significantly increased BMD in the spine and proximal femur by 3%-5%. Physical activity alone had no influence on BMD, but in combination with calcium intake an additive effect was observed. Women who had an active lifestyle (corresponding to at least 1 h of daily walking) and a dairy calcium intake above 660 mg/day had a 3%-7% increase in BMD compared with more sedentary women with a calcium intake below this limit. Vitamin D supplements, caffeine, smoking and reproductive history did not consistently influence BMD or bone turnover. Only pBGP was selectively reduced by smoking and current use of oral contraceptives, respectively. We conclude that there is no appreciable change in BMD before the menopause once skeletal maturity has been reached.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Bone Density* / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / metabolism
  • Premenopause / physiology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers