Do Young New Zealand Pacific Island and European Children Differ in Bone Size or Bone Mineral?
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- Grant, A.M., Gordon, F.K., Ferguson, E.L. et al. Calcif Tissue Int (2005) 76: 397. doi:10.1007/s00223-004-0156-3
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Although Pacific Island adults have been shown to have larger bones and greater bone mineral density than caucasians, no previous studies have been undertaken to determine whether differences are present in prepubertal children. Forty-one Pacific Island children (both parents of Pacific Island descent) and 38 European children, aged 3 to 7 years, living in New Zealand were studied. Heights and weights were determined by simple anthropometry and body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) was calculated. Body composition, bone size, and bone mineral content (BMC, g) were measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) of the total body and the non-dominant forearm. Compared to European children, in data adjusted for age and gender, Pacific Island children had significantly greater (P < 0.05) BMC in the total body (12%), the ultradistal radius (16%), and the 33% radius (8%), and also greater total body bone area (10%). Bone mineral density (BMD, g/cm2) was higher only at the ultradistal radius (11%). However, after adjustment for body weight, in particular lean mass, no differences were seen between Pacific Island and European children in any bone measure. The larger bone area and BMC of young Pacific Island children can be explained by their greater height and weight. Therefore, this study has shown that prepubertal Pacific Island children do not have greater bone size or BMC for their weight.