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Measures of childhood fitness and body mass index are associated with bone mass in adulthood: A 20-year prospective study


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Foley, SJ, Quinn, SJ, Dwyer, T, Venn, AJ and Jones, G 2008 , 'Measures of childhood fitness and body mass index are associated with bone mass in adulthood: A 20-year prospective study' , Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, vol. 23, no. 7 , pp. 994-1001 , doi: 10.1359/JBMR.080223.

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The long-term effects of childhood exercise and body mass index (BMI) on bone mass remain
uncertain. We measured 1434 children, 7–15 yr of age, as part of the Australian Schools Health and Fitness
Survey in 1985 and ∼20 yr later (mean age, 31 yr). Fitness measures included a 1.6-km run and a 50-m sprint
(childhood only), leg strength, standing long jump, and physical work capacity at 170 beats/min (PWC170;
childhood and adulthood). BMI was assessed at both time points. A single Sahara bone ultrasound densitometer
was used to determine heel bone mass. We found, in females, there were modest but significant
beneficial relationships between the childhood 1.6-km run, 50-m sprint, standing long jump, and adult bone
mass. In both sexes, PWC170 at 9 yr of age had a greater influence on adult bone mass (r25–8%, all p < 0.05)
than it did for 15 yr olds (r2 <1%, all p > 0.05), independent of adult performance. In the 12 yr olds,
childhood PWC170 was also associated with female adult bone mass (broadband ultrasound attenuation: r2
6%, p0.045). In males, childhood BMI (but no performance measures) was positively associated with adult
bone mass after adjustment for adult BMI. In conclusion, childhood fitness levels, particularly in females and
in the early pubertal years, are predictive of adult skeletal status as measured by quantitative ultrasound,
whereas BMI is predictive in males only. These results suggest that increased skeletal loading in childhood
leads to an increase in peak bone mass independent of current loading.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Foley, SJ and Quinn, SJ and Dwyer, T and Venn, AJ and Jones, G
Keywords: body mass index, bone mass, longitudinal, physical fitness, quantitative ultrasound
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Bone and Mineral Research
ISSN: 0884-0431
DOI / ID Number: 10.1359/JBMR.080223
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