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May 1988

Comment on the Assessment of Bone Mineral Status in Children

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(5):482. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150050020010

Sir.—In a recent issue of AJDC, Specker and colleagues1 reported normal values for peripheral compact bone mineral content, as assessed by single photon absorptiometry in 89 preschoolage children. While we believe such research is of vital importance to the study of childhood growth and development, we must warn the unwary of potential discrepancies in the reporting of these results. While this article presents normal values for children aged 1 through 6 years, previous publications2-4 report bone mineral content as determined by the same technique for children aged 6 through 14 years, providing an overlap period at age 6 years so that data can be compared. The bone mineral content value for this age is given as 0.356 ± 0.06 g/cm, whereas the extrapolated value found by Mazess and Cameron3 was 0.486 g/cm for boys and 0.475 g/cm for girls (a striking difference of 2 SDs). Certainly,