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Int J Pediatr Endocrinol. 2013 Feb 6;2013(1):4. doi: 10.1186/1687-9856-2013-4.

Factors associated with low bone density in patients referred for assessment of bone health.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Boston, MA, USA. lisa.topor@childrens.harvard.edu.



To identify factors that predict low bone mineral density (BMD) in pediatric patients referred for dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry assessments.


This is a retrospective cohort study of 304 children and adolescents referred for dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry assessments at a tertiary care center. Outcomes included risk factors which predicted a significant low bone density for age, defined as BMD Z-score ≤ -2.0 SD. A univariate analysis involved Chi-square, Fisher's Exact test, and analysis of variance, and multivariate logistic regression models were constructed to determine predictors of low bone mineral density.


In the multivariate logistic regression model, predictors of low bone mineral density included low body mass index Z-score (odds ratio 0.52, 95% confidence interval 0.39 - 0.69), low height Z-score (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.57 - 0.88), vitamin D insufficiency (OR 3.97, 95% CI 2.08 - 7.59), and history of bone marrow transplant (OR 5.78, 95% CI 1.00 - 33.45).


Underlying health problems and associated treatments can impair bone mineral accrual. We identified risk factors most predictive of low bone mineral density in subjects referred for bone density measurement. Recognition of these factors may allow for earlier assessment to maximize bone mass in at-risk children.

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