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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Jul;91(7):2534-41. Epub 2006 Apr 18.

Adipose tissue stimulates bone growth in prepubertal children.

Author information

1
Rheumatology Unit, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol BS2 8HW, United Kingdom.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Fat mass represents a positive influence on bone mass in adults, independently of other factors such as lean mass, but whether a similar action occurs in children is unclear.

OBJECTIVE:

Our objective was to examine the relationship between fat mass and bone mass in children.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

We conducted combined cross-sectional and prospective analyses at university research clinics.

PARTICIPANTS:

Participants included children aged 9.9 yr from a large population-based birth cohort in southwest England.

OUTCOMES:

Relationships between total body fat mass were measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at age 9.9 yr, and 1) total-body-less-head bone mass and area at age 9.9 and 2) increase in bone mass and area over the following 2 yr.

RESULTS:

There was a strong positive relationship between total body fat mass and total-body-less-head bone mass and area, even after adjustment for height and/or lean mass (P < 0.001). There was a similar positive association between total body fat mass and increase in bone mass and area over the following 2 yr in boys and Tanner stage 1 girls. In contrast, no association was present between fat mass and gain in bone mass and size in Tanner stage 2 girls, whereas a negative association was seen in Tanner stage 3 girls (puberty-fat mass interaction, P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

In prepubertal children, fat mass is a positive independent determinant of bone mass and size and of increases in these parameters over the following 2 yr, suggesting that adipose tissue acts to stimulate bone growth. However, this relationship is attenuated by puberty.

PMID:
16621904
PMCID:
PMC2742729
DOI:
10.1210/jc.2006-0332
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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