Skipping breakfast and less exercise are risk factors for bone loss in young Japanese adults: a 3-year follow-up study
Although bone loss contributes to osteoporosis (OP) in the elderly, little is known about changes in bone mineral density (BMD) in young adults that lead to bone loss. Here, we evaluated the rate of bone change and risk factors for bone loss in young men and women using data from a 3-year prospective study of Japanese medical students. The study included a self-administrated questionnaire survey, anthropometric measurements, and BMD measurements of the spine (L2–L4) and femoral neck (FN). After 3 years, the BMD of the participants was again measured at the same sites. In all, 458 students (95.4 %; 298 men and 160 women; age range, 18–29 years; mean age, 20.2 years) completed both the baseline and follow-up surveys. The mean L2–L4 BMD value at baseline increased significantly within 3 years. This tendency was also observed for the FN in men but not in women. The annual changes at L2–L4 were 1.78 % in men and 0.97 % in women per year; those for FN were 1.08 % in men and 0.08 % in women per year. However, 20.3 % and 38.5 % of the total freshmen lost BMD in the lumbar spine and FN, respectively. After adjustment for age and body mass index, logistic regression analysis revealed that bone loss in men at L2–L4 at the baseline was affected by skipping breakfast. In contrast, exercise (>2 h/week) increased lumbar spine BMD in both genders. These findings indicate that breakfast and exercise are important for maintaining BMD in young men and women.