The relationship between childhood growth, bone mass, and muscle strength in male and female adolescents

Calcif Tissue Int. 1997 May;60(5):405-9. doi: 10.1007/s002239900253.


In this population-based study, the relationship between childhood weight and height, and adolescent bone mass and muscle strength have been studied in 39 girls and 48 boys. Total body and femoral neck bone mass measurements (bone mineral content, BMC and bone mineral density, BMD) were made by dual X-ray absorptiometry. Quadriceps muscle strength was measured. Mean age at the time of measurement was 15.1 years for girls and boys. Results were individually linked to data on childhood (birth to 6 years of age) weight and height, taken from community health records. Childhood weight was found to be predictive of adolescent total body BMC (TBMC). However, this was not the case when correlating childhood weight and total body BMD (TBMD), suggesting that growth determines the size of the skeleton, whereas the density within that bone envelope is to a greater extent governed by other factors. Further, in a multiple regression model we found that the combined effect of childhood weight and height was significantly correlated with adolescent quadriceps muscle strength.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adolescent
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Bone Density*
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology
  • Female
  • Femur
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Menarche
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Torque