Osteoporosis International

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 1485–1495 | Cite as

Relationship between grip strength and bone mineral density in healthy Hong Kong adolescents

  • D. C. C. ChanEmail author
  • W. T. K. Lee
  • D. H. S. Lo
  • J. C. S. Leung
  • A. W. L. Kwok
  • P. C. Leung
Original Article



This study evaluated the magnitude of the correlations among grip strength, bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC), after controlling for weight, height, pubertal development, weight-bearing activities and calcium intake. The results lead to the conclusion that grip strength is an independent predictor of bone mass in both sexes. The relationship between muscle strength and bone mass is systemic.


Previous studies had shown a site-specific relationship between muscle strength and bone in pubertal children. This study evaluated the magnitude of the correlations among grip strength, bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) at distant bone.


Cross-sectional data of 169 11- to 12-year-old boys and 173 10- to 11-year-old girls came from the baseline result of a cohort study. Grip strength, BMD, BMC, weight, height, pubertal development, weight-bearing activities and calcium intake were measured. Pearson correlations and multiple regressions were used to calculate univariate and adjusted associations among grip strength and bone mass at distant bone.


Significant correlations were shown between grip strength and bone mass at hip, spine and whole body (boys: BMC:0.72–0.74, BMD:0.38–0.60; girls: BMC:0.71–0.72, BMD:0.44–0.63; p<0.0001). Multiple regressions with all covariates showed that about 70% and 50%, respectively, of the variations in BMC and BMD could be explained but not for whole body BMD. Grip strength was an independent predictor of bone mass, except hip BMD in boys and whole body BMD in girls. Stepwise regression showed that grip strength was a robust predictor in both sexes. Prediction models by grip strength and weight explained about 60% and 40% of the variations in BMC of different sites and in BMD of hip and spine, respectively.


We found that grip strength is an independent predictor of bone mass in both sexes. The relationship between muscle strength and bone mass is systemic.


Adolescents Bone mineral density Grip strength Hong Kong 



This study was supported by the Jockey Club Center for Osteoporosis Care and Control, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. We thank Dr. Edith Lau and Dr. Dicky Choy for their earlier contributions to the initial design of The Hong Kong Adolescent Bone Health Cohort Study. We gratefully acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Ms Wong Wing Man with subject recruitment, and Ms Winny Lau with dietary assessment. Special thanks to our subjects and families for their generous cooperation.

Conflicts of interest statement



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. C. C. Chan
    • 1
    Email author
  • W. T. K. Lee
    • 2
  • D. H. S. Lo
    • 1
  • J. C. S. Leung
    • 1
  • A. W. L. Kwok
    • 1
  • P. C. Leung
    • 1
  1. 1.Jockey Club Centre for Osteoporosis Care and ControlThe Chinese University of Hong Kong, Rm314, 3/F, School of Public HealthShatinChina
  2. 2.Division of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Health & Medical SciencesUniversity of SurreySurreyUnited Kingdom

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