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Adolescence

The period of dramatic bone growth

Abstract

Adolescence is a period of rapid skeletal growth during which nearly half of the adult skeletal mass is accrued. This life stage is a window of opportunity for influencing peak bone mass and reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Endocrine factors that may influence peak bone mass include insulin-like growth factor-1, which regulates skeletal growth, and gonadotropic hormones, which stimulate epiphyseal maturation. Estrogen deficiency and amenorrhea can reduce skeletal mass. Weight-bearing exercise can increase bone mass. Appropriate mineralization of the skeleton requires adequate dietary intakes of minerals involved in the formation of hydroxyapatite; the most likely to be deficient is calcium.

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Correspondence to Connie M. Weaver PhD.

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Weaver, C.M. Adolescence. Endocr 17, 43–48 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1385/ENDO:17:1:43

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Key Words

  • Adolescence
  • peak bone mass
  • calcium
  • physical activity
  • amenorrhea