Milk intake during childhood and adolescence, adult bone density, and osteoporotic fractures in US women
Adequate calcium intake is critical in school-age years to ensure adequate bone mineralisation; however, the effects of adequacy in childhood on bone health in later years is not well documented. In this study, researchers sought to determine whether milk intake during childhood and adolescence is associated with adult bone mass (bone mineral content), bone mineral density, and the incidence of osteoporotic fracture. They used data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (USA) of 3251 non-Hispanic, white women age ≥ 20 y. Subjects reported frequency of milk consumption during childhood (aged 5–12 y) and during adolescence (aged 13–17 y). Regression models were used, controlling for weight, height, age, menopause and use of estrogen, physical activity, smoking, and current calcium intake. Lower milk intake during childhood (< 1 serving of milk/wk, versus >1 serving/wk) was associated with significantly lower bone mineral content in women aged 20–49. Low milk intake during adolescence was associated with a reduction in hip bone mineral content and bone mineral density, and low milk intake during childhood was associated with a 2-fold greater risk of fracture after age 50. The authors conclude that women with low milk intake during childhood and adolescence have less bone mass in adulthood and a greater risk of fracture.
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