Development in early childhood can influence bone density in adult life, according to New Delhi Birth Cohort study.
The data showed that greater height and body massindex (BMI) gain in utero and infancy are associated with higher peak bone mass, and greater BMI gain in childhood/adolescence with higher peak bone density.
These associations are mediated by attained adult height and BMI.
The study participants comprised 565 men and women aged 33-39 years from the New Delhi Birth Cohort, India, whose weight and height were recorded at birth and annually during infancy (0-2 years), childhood (2-11 years) and adolescence (11 years-adult).
Lumbar spine, femoral neck and forearm bone mineral content (BMC) and areal density (aBMD) were measured using dual X-ray absorptiometry; lumbar spine and femoral neck apparent density (BMAD) were calculated.
The study found that birth length, and height and height gain during infancy, childhood and adolescence were positively correlated with adult BMC.
Correlations increased with height from birth to 6 years, then remained constant for later height measurements. There were no associations with BMAD.
BMI at birth, and during childhood and adolescence was also positively correlated with BMC. BMI at 11 years, and BMI gain in childhood and adolescence, were correlated with aBMD and BMAD; these correlations strengthened with increasing age of BMI measurement.
The associations with height and BMI in early life became non-significant after adjustment for adult height and BMI.