Osteoporosis International

, Volume 29, Issue 8, pp 1843–1852 | Cite as

Tracking of bone mass from childhood to puberty: a 7-year follow-up. The CHAMPS study DK

  • M. S. Rønne
  • M. Heidemann
  • A. Schou
  • J. O. Laursen
  • A. B. Bojesen
  • L. Lylloff
  • S. Husby
  • N. Wedderkopp
  • C. Mølgaard
Original Article



Bone mass in childhood is highly influenced by puberty. At the same age, bone mass was higher for pubertal than pre-pubertal children. A high level of tracking during 7 years from childhood through puberty was shown, indicating that early levels of bone mass may be important for later bone health.


Bone mass development in childhood varies by sex and age, but also by pubertal stage. The objectives of this study were to (1) describe bone mass development in childhood as it relates to pubertal onset and to (2) determine the degree of tracking from childhood to adolescence.


A longitudinal study with 7 years of follow-up was initiated in 2008 to include 831 children (407 boys) aged 8 to 17 years. Participants underwent whole body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanning, blood collection to quantify luteinizing hormone levels, and Tanner stage self-assessment three times during the 7-year follow-up. Total body less head bone mineral content, areal bone mineral density, and bone area were used to describe development in bone accrual and to examine tracking over 7 years.


Bone mass in pubertal children is higher than that of pre-pubertal children at the same age. Analysing tracking with quintiles of bone mass Z-scores in 2008 and 2015 showed that more than 80% of participants remained in the same or neighbouring quintile over the study period. Tracking was confirmed by correlation coefficients between Z-scores at baseline and 7-year follow-up (range, 0.80–0.84).


Bone mass is highly influenced by pubertal onset, and pubertal stage should be considered when examining children’s bone health. Because bone mass indices track from childhood into puberty, children with low bone mass may be at risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.


Bone mass Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry Longitudinal Puberty Tracking 



We thank participants and schools for their participation in the Childhood Health Activity and Motor Performance School study.

Funding information

The study was supported by The Danish foundation “Tryg-fonden”, the Region of Southern Denmark, Hospital of Southern Jutland, and “Kirsten og Freddy Johansens Fond”.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

Children and parents have received information both at school meetings and additional written information about the study. The parents signed informed consent forms before examination. Participation was at any time voluntary. Permission to conduct the CHAMPS-study DK was granted by the Regional Scientific Ethical Committee of Southern Denmark (Project ID: S2008-0047, S-20140105) and were in accordance with the ethical standards of the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. S. Rønne
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Heidemann
    • 1
  • A. Schou
    • 1
  • J. O. Laursen
    • 3
  • A. B. Bojesen
    • 4
  • L. Lylloff
    • 5
    • 6
  • S. Husby
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. Wedderkopp
    • 7
  • C. Mølgaard
    • 1
    • 8
  1. 1.Hans Christian Andersen Children’s HospitalOdense University HospitalOdense CDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Clinical ResearchUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense CDenmark
  3. 3.Emergency DepartmentHospital of South JutlandAabenraaDenmark
  4. 4.Hospital of South JutlandAabenraaDenmark
  5. 5.Department of Clinical BiochemistryRigshospitalet, GlostrupGlostrupDenmark
  6. 6.Department of Clinical BiochemistryHospital Unit WestHerningDenmark
  7. 7.Research in Childhood Health, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark
  8. 8.Department of Nutrition, Exercise and SportsUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen NDenmark

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