Teens late to puberty may end up with weaker bones, finds ne
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Teens who hit puberty late may end up with weaker bones, a new study finds.

In the study, which included more than 6,000 British children, researchers found that kids who experienced their growth spurts — which occur around the age of puberty — late had lower than average bone density in young adulthood.

“Teens who mature later than their peers tend to have lower bone density on average as they grow and so they are likely to have a risk of breaking a bone,” said the study’s lead author Ahmed Elhakeem, an epidemiologist at the University of Bristol. “These later maturing teens did catch up to some degree with early maturing teens in terms of bone strength, but they continued to have lower bone strength after they finished growing and became adults, so they may also be at increased risk for osteoporosis in later life.”

Girls had their growth spurts earlier, at an average age of 11.5, while boys spurted on average at age 13.5. Boys gained bone mineral density at faster rates than girls. The greatest gains in bone density occurred between a year prior to the spurt and two years afterward, the researchers found.

Among both girls and boys, there were faster gains in bone mineral density when the growth spurt came late. But even with speeded up bone density gains, the kids who spurted late never caught up with those who spurted early.

Strength of the new study is that the researchers “had a lot of patients who had (bone density) scans,” said Dr. Robert Rapaport, a professor of pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine and chief of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at the Mount Sinai Health System.

Source: https://pxmd.co/ctjP3