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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Sep;84(9):3025-9.

The relation between bone mineral density, insulin-like growth factor I, lipoprotein (a), body composition, and muscle strength in adolescent males.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, Umeå University, Sweden.


Osteoporosis is the most common metabolic bone disease. A low peak bone mass is regarded a risk factor for osteoporosis. Heredity, physical activity, and nutrition are regarded important measures for the observed variance in peak bone mass. Lp(a) lipoprotein is a well-known risk factor for atherosclerosis. Serum insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) has been found to be increased in males with early cardiovascular disease. In this study, we evaluated the association between bone mass, body constitution, muscle strength, Lp(a), and IGF-I in 47 Caucasian male adolescents (mean age, 16.9 yr). Bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition were measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry, muscle strength of thigh using an isokinetic dynamometer, IGF-I by RIA, and Lp(a) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. IGF-I was only associated with Lp(a) (r = 0.38, P < 0.01). Lp(a) was related to total body (r = 0.40, P < 0.01), skull (r = 0.45, P < 0.01), and femoral neck BMD (r = 0.44, P < 0.01). Lp(a) was also related to fat mass (r = 0.34, P < 0.05) and muscle strength (r = 0.30-0.42, P < 0.05). After multiple regression and principal component (PC) analysis, the so-called PC body size (weight, fat mass, lean body mass, and muscle strength) was the most significant predictor of BMD (beta = 0.28-0.51, P < 0.05-0.01), followed by the so-called PC physical activity (beta = 0.28-0.38, P < 0.05-0.01, weight-bearing locations). However, the PC analysis confirmed that Lp(a) was an independent predictor of total body, skull, and femoral neck BMD (beta = 0.33-0.36, P < 0.01). The present investigation confirms that BMD, body size, and muscle strength are closely related and that the level of physical activity is a major determinant of BMD. However, the positive relation of Lp(a), a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, to BMD has not previously been described. The importance of this observation has to be further investigated.

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