Late puberty associated with osteoporosis, bone weakness later in life

Aug. 9 (UPI) — The age of a person when they hit puberty may influence their bone strength later in life, new research shows.

Experiencing a growth spurt in the late-teens that ends with peak bone mass might make a person more prone to bone fractures and osteoporosis as they age, according to a study published Friday in JAMA Open Network.

“Our research adds to the evidence that children who mature later may be at increased risk of fractures as they grow,” lead author Ahmed Elhakeem, a researcher at University of Bristol said, in a news release. “They may also have increased risk of the fragile bone condition osteoporosis in later life.”

The researchers analyzed six repeated bone scans of more than 6,300 children between ages 10 and 25 from a previous study called Children of the 90s. The purpose of the study was to determine whether the timing of puberty affected bone density from teen years to young adulthood.

This study aligns with past research that links puberty with osteoporosis.

The researchers of this study say their work can raise awareness for maintaining good bone health.

“Understanding changes in bone density during puberty, and the interventions that people can take for their bone health now to prevent osteoporosis and fractures in the future, is an important step forward in finding a cure for this disease,” said Alison Doyle, who runs the Royal Osteoporosis Society.

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