The relationship of bone mineral density and anthropometric variables in healthy male and female children

Judy Z. Miller, Charles W. Slemenda, F. John Meaney, Theresa Kimes Reister, Siu Hui, C. Conrad Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The relationships among bone mineral measurements at hip, wrist, and spine sites and anthropometric measurements which provided estimates of frame size, skinfold thickness, and muscularity were examined in a population of 140 children. The average age of the children at the time of measurement was 9.5 ± 2.5 years and all subjects were white. In this study population, the anthropometric measurements were generally highly intercorrelated. Univariate correlations among bone mass and density variables at the different sites were also high, especially in the female children. Model fitting procedures were employed to separate the effects of age, frame size, and fatness on the bone mass measures. Resulting models confirmed previous results which suggest that height is the best predictor of bone mass in children. As expected, models for bone mineral content and bone mineral density were similar. Models for hips and wrist sites were also similar in including an estimate of frame size, while in those for the spine hip circumference explained a greater percentage of the variance. It appears that there are several identifiable characteristics among the anthropometric variables which appear to exert differential effects on skeletal development in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-152
Number of pages16
JournalBone and Mineral
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1991


  • Bone mineral content
  • Bone mineral density
  • Child
  • Frame size
  • Skinfold thickness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Surgery

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