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June 2000

Osteoporosis Prevention: A Pediatric Challenge

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000;154(6):542-543. doi:10.1001/archpedi.154.6.542

OSTEOPOROSIS AFFECTS 25 to 30 million American adults and fractures related to osteoporosis cost the US health care system an estimated $13.8 billion per year.1 One of the major determinants of future fracture risk is the amount of bone present at skeletal maturity, often referred to as "peak bone mass."2 Peak bone mass is achieved during the late stages of pubertal development and between 40% and 60% of peak bone mass is accrued during the adolescent years.3-6 By 2 years postmenarche, bone mass gains decline rapidly.6 Adolescence is therefore a crucial time for bone development, and any factors adversely impacting on bone acquisition during adolescence can potentially have long-standing detrimental effects.