, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 2151-2157
Date: 22 Oct 2010

Bone mass in male and female children and adolescents with Down syndrome

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Children and adolescents with Down syndrome (DS) have lower levels of bone mass compared with youths without DS. Their sexual dimorphism in bone mass also differs from that observed in children and adolescents without Down syndrome.


This study aimed to compare bone mass and sexual dimorphism in bone mass between male and female youths with DS and age- and sex-matched controls without DS.


Bone mineral density (BMD), volumetric BMD, bone mineral apparent density (BMAD), BMD/height (BMDH), and total lean mass were measured or calculated from DXA. Thirty-two youths (15 females) with DS and 32 youths (13 females) without DS participated in the study.


ANOVA tests showed lower BMAD and BMDH in females with DS compared with females without DS. ANCOVA tests revealed lower BMD in the whole body of males and females as well as BMD in the hip region of the females with DS compared with their counterparts without DS. Within the group with DS, females had greater lumbar spine BMD than the males.


The low values of BMD and related parameters, together with the differences in the sexual dimorphism, indicate a non-standard bone development in this specific population of children and adolescents with DS.