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Arch Dis Child. 1997 Jan;76(1):9-15.

Whole body bone mineral content in healthy children and adolescents.

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  • 1Research Department of Human Nutrition, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg, Denmark.


Data from healthy children are needed to evaluate bone mineralisation during childhood. Whole body bone mineral content (BMC) and bone area were examined by dual energy x ray absorptiometry (Hologic 1000/W) in healthy girls (n = 201) and boys (n = 142) aged 5-19 years. Centile curves for bone area for age, BMC for age, bone area for height, and BMC for bone area were constructed using the LMS method. Bone mineral density calculated as BMC/bone area is not useful in children as it is significantly influenced by bone size. Instead, it is proposed that bone mineralisation is assessed in three steps: height for age, bone area for height, and BMC for bone area. These three steps correspond to three different causes of reduced bone mass: short bones, narrow bones, and light bones.

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