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J Bone Miner Res. 1990 Jun;5(6):589-95.

Muscle strength as a predictor of bone mineral density in young women.

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Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory, VA Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA.


It is widely accepted that physical activity is beneficial to bone. However, the specific relationships of muscle strength to bone mineral density (BMD) are poorly understood. We examined strength and BMD in 59 women aged 18-31 years who ranged in exercise patterns from sedentary to active. Mineral density of the right proximal femur (hip) and spine (L2-4) was evaluated by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. BMD at the midradius was measured by single-photon absorptiometry. Dynamic strength (one repetition maximum) was measured for the following muscle groups: back, elbow flexors (biceps), leg extensors (quadriceps), and the hip flexors, extensors, adductors, and abductors. Isometric grip strength was assessed by dynamometry. Mineral density at the hip correlated independently with muscle strength and body weight, but not with age. Specifically, femoral neck BMD was significantly correlated with back strength and weight, whereas trochanter and overall hip mineral density were significantly related to biceps, back, and hip adductor strength. Hip mineral density was not related to strength of the quadriceps groups or to that of the hip flexors, extensors, or abductors. In addition, muscle strength was an independent predictor of lumbar spine and midradius mineral density. In stepwise multiple regression analysis, biceps strength proved the most robust predictor of hip BMD and grip strength best predicted bone density at the lumbar spine and radius. We conclude that muscle strength is an independent predictor of bone mineral density, accounting for 15-20% of the total variance in bone density of young women.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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