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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2004 Feb;14(1):24-9.

Muscle strength correlates with total body bone mineral density in young women but not in men.

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Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.



Osteoporosis is a growing health problem. One of the proposed reasons for this is a more sedentary lifestyle. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between muscle strength and total body bone mineral density (TBMD) in young adults at expected peak bone mass.


Sixty-four women and 61 men (total 125) 21 years of age were included. Handgrip strength, isokinetic knee-flexion and -extension muscle strength, TBMD, and body composition were measured.


Univariate regression analyses showed that knee flexion and extension explained almost 30% of the variation in TBMD in women, whereas handgrip strength was not associated with TBMD. In men, no correlation between any measures of muscle strength and TBMD was evident. Stepwise regression analysis showed that knee-flexion and -extension muscle strength in women were associated with TBMD, R2=0.27. In men, lean body mass, fat mass, weight, and height were predictors for TBMD, R2=0.43, whereas muscle strength did not affect the prediction of TBMD.


Muscle strength at weight-bearing sites is related to TBMD in women, whereas body composition is related to TBMD in men. The association of lower limb strength on TBMD only in young women indicates a gender difference.

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