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J Bone Miner Metab. 2014 Mar;32(2):174-83. doi: 10.1007/s00774-013-0478-1. Epub 2013 Jun 7.

Pelvis width associated with bone mass distribution at the proximal femur in children 10-11 years old.

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  • 1Exercise and Health Laboratory, Faculty of Human Movement, Interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Human Performance, Technical University of Lisbon, Estrada da Costa, 1495-688, Cruz Quebrada, Portugal.


Differences in skeletal geometry may generate different patterns of mechanical loading to bone. Impact and muscle loading during physical activity have been shown to influence skeletal geometry. The purpose of this study was to compare geometric measures of the pelvis and proximal femur (PF) of young children and to analyze the contribution and potential interaction of these geometric measures with physical activity on PF bone mass distribution. Participants were 149 girls and 145 boys, aged 10-11 years. Total body and left hip DXA scans were used to derive pelvic and PF geometric measures and PF bone mineral density (BMD) at the femoral neck (FN), trochanter (TR), and intertrochanter (IT). These subregions were used to represent bone mass distribution via three BMD ratios: FN:PF, TR:PF, and IT:PF. Physical activity was objectively measured using accelerometry, and maturity was estimated as the years of distance from peak height velocity. When compared to boys, girls had a wider pelvic diameter and greater interacetabular distances (p < 0.001), lower BMD at FN, TR, and IT (p < 0.05), and higher TR:PF (p < 0.001). After controlling for maturity, body height, and lean body mass, the interacetabular distance in girls explained 21.1 % (β = 0.713, p < 0.001) in TR:PF and 2.9 % (β = -0.179, p = 0.031) in the IT:PF. Neck-shaft angle explained 5.6 % (β = -0.265, p = 0.001) of the IT:PF and 3.1 % (β = 0.194, p = 0.018) of the FN:PF. In boys, FN axis length explained 2.9 % (β = 0.195, p = 0.040) of TR:PF. There was no main effect of physical activity or interaction effect with pelvic geometry in explaining BMD differences among the subregions of the PF. Even before sexual dimorphism, girls have a wider pelvis than boys, which accounted for proportionally greater BMD of the TR than other subregions of the PF.

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