Ten Important Bone Facts Every Adolescent Should Know By Dr. Michele Couri, MD, FACOG, ABIHM
- The adolescent years are a very important time for acquiring peak bone mass which is a major determinant of future bone health.
- The essential variable for lifelong skeletal health is bone mass accrued in early life.
- Every 10% increase in bone mass during adolescence potentially reduces the risk of fractures by 50%.
- Bone deposition starts in utero, accelerates during adolescence, and peaks by the age of 30.
- Approximately 40% of adult bone mass is accrued during adolescence, primarily within 2 years of adolescents’ “peak growth spurt,” otherwise known as peak height velocity.
- 95% of peak bone mass has been achieved by the age of 19, with a minimal increase in bone mass thereafter.
- Once peak bone mass is achieved, there is a slow but steady decline in net bone mass until menopause.
- Modifiable factors related to achieving optimal peak bone mass involve nutrition and include maintaining healthy body weight, having a daily dietary intake of at least 1,300 mg/day of calcium and 600 IU Vitamin D, along with consuming a wide variety of vegetables and fruits.
- Other important factors for adolescent bone health include partaking in weight-bearing exercise, avoidance of both smoking and excessive alcohol use, and limiting soda consumption.
- Contraceptives affect bone mass differently, so evaluating all risks and benefits based on an individual’s personal and family history is very important.
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To Your Health,
Neville Golden, MD. Bones and Birth Control in Adolescent Girls. Pediatric Adolesc Gynecol 33, Issue 3 (2020); 249-254.