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Interaction between calcium intake and menarcheal age on bone mass gain: an eight-year follow-up study from prepuberty to postmenarche.
Journal of Cinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Both late menarcheal age and low calcium intake (Ca intake) during growth are risk factors for osteoporosis, probably by impairing peak bone mass. We investigated whether lasting gain in areal bone mineral density (aBMD) in response to increased Ca intake varies according to menarcheal age and, conversely, whether Ca intake could influence menarcheal age. In an initial study, 144 prepubertal girls were randomized in a double-blind controlled trial to receive either a Ca supplement (Ca-suppl.) of 850 mg/d or placebo from age 7.9-8.9 yr. Mean aBMD gain determined by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry at six sites (radius metaphysis, radius diaphysis, femoral neck, trochanter, femoral diaphysis, and L2-L4) was significantly (P = 0.004) greater in the Ca-suppl. than in the placebo group (27 vs. 21 mg/cm(2)). In 122 girls followed up, menarcheal age was recorded, and aBMD was determined at 16.4 yr of age. Menarcheal age was lower in the Ca-suppl. than in the placebo group (P = 0.048). Menarcheal age and Ca intake were negatively correlated (r = -0.35; P < 0.001), as were aBMD gains from age 7.9-16.4 yr and menarcheal age at all skeletal sites (range: r = -0.41 to r = -0.22; P < 0.001 to P = 0.016). The positive effect of Ca-suppl. on the mean aBMD gain from baseline remained significantly greater in girls below, but not in those above, the median of menarcheal age (13.0 yr). Early menarcheal age (12.1 +/- 0.5 yr): placebo, 286 +/- 36 mg/cm(2); Ca-suppl., 317 +/- 46 (P = 0.009); late menarcheal age (13.9 +/- 0.5 yr): placebo, 284 +/- 58; Ca-suppl., 276 +/- 50 (P > 0.05). The level of Ca intake during prepuberty may influence the timing of menarche, which, in turn, could influence long-term bone mass gain in response to Ca supplementation. Thus, both determinants of early menarcheal age and high Ca intake may positively interact on bone mineral mass accrual.
Adolescent, Age Factors, Bone Density, Calcium, Dietary, Child, Double-Blind Method, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Menarche, Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
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