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BMJ Open. 2019 Jul 4;9(Suppl 3):63-74. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022400.

pQCT bone geometry and strength: population epidemiology and concordance in Australian children aged 11-12 years and their parents.

Author information

Department of Surgery, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
Department of Endocrinology, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
School of Psychology, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia.
Department of Paediatrics and The Liggins Institute, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.



To describe the epidemiology and concordance of bone health in a population-based sample of Australian parent-child dyads at child age 11-12 years.


Population-based cross-sectional study (the Child Health CheckPoint) nested between waves 6 and 7 of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC).


Assessment centres in seven cities around Australia, February 2015-March 2016.


of all participating CheckPoint families (n=1874), bone data were available for 1222 dyads (1271 children, 50% girls; 1250 parents, 86% mothers).


Peripheral quantitative CT (pQCT) of the non-dominant leg scanned at the 4% (distal) and 66% (mid-calf) tibial sites. Stratec XCT 2000 software generated estimates of bone density, geometry and polar stress-strain index.Parent-child concordance were assessed using Pearson's correlation coefficients and multivariable linear regression models. Percentiles were determined using survey weights. Survey weights and methods accounted for LSAC's complex sampling, stratification and clustering within postcodes.


Concordances were greater for the geometric pQCT parameters (periosteal circumference 0.38, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.43; endosteal circumference 0.42, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.47; total cross-sectional area 0.37, 95% CI 0.32 to 0.42) than density (cortical density 0.25, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.30). Mother-child and father-child values were similar. Relationships attenuated only slightly on adjustment for age, sex and body mass index. Percentiles and concordance are presented for the whole sample and by sex.


There is strong parent-child concordance in bone geometry and, to a lesser extent, density even before the period of peak adolescent bone deposition. This geometrical concordance suggests that future intergenerational bone studies could consider using pQCT rather than the more commonly used dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).


Peripheral Quantitative Computer Tomography (pqct); bone health; children patterns; epidemiologic studies; reference values

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at and declare financial support as described in the funding section. MW received support from Sandoz to present at a symposium outside the submitted work.

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