Obese Japanese children have low bone mineral density after puberty

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between BMD and childhood obesity. We examined 1070 obese children (722 boys and 348 girls) aged 7 to 15 years. Their mean relative weight, as a percentage of the standard weight for age, height, and sex, was 152.9 ± 14%. BMD was assessed, by a digital image processing method, in the second metacarpal bone of the left hand. We compared our results with those of healthy nonobese Japanese children based on both chronological and bone age. Mean BMD values for bone age in the obese children were significantly higher than those in control groups in boys aged 11 years and under and girls 9 years and under. On the other hand, in boys over 12 years old, BMD values for bone age were lower than those in the control groups. In girls over 11 years old, BMD values tended to be lower than those in the control groups. In conclusion, we studied the BMD of obese children from the point of view of advanced bone age. Our results showed that BMD was higher than in prepubertal obese children, but a low BMD value was found after puberty, due to poor gain of BMD during puberty. It is important to prevent obesity in childhood in order to prevent the low BMD after puberty.

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