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Muscle Determinants of Bone Mass, Geometry and Strength in Prepubertal Girls


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: June 2008 - Volume 40 - Issue 6 - p 1135-1141
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318169bb8d

Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the relative contribution of peak muscle force (isokinetic peak torque) with surrogate estimates of muscle force, including leg lean tissue mass (LTM) and vertical jump height (VJH), on bone mass, geometry and strength in healthy prepubertal girls (n = 103).

Methods: Total leg and FN BMC and leg LTM were measured by DXA; the hip strength analysis program was used to assess FN diameter, cross-sectional area (CSA) and section modulus (Z). Isokinetic peak torque of the knee extensors and flexors (60°·s−1) were used as direct measures of peak muscle force. VJH was measured as an estimate of neuromuscular function. Total leg length or femoral length was used as a surrogate measure of moment arm length.

Results: All estimates of muscle function, except VJH, were positively associated with leg BMC (r = 0.72 - 0.90) and FN BMC, geometry and strength (r = 0.35−0.65) (all, P < 0.001). Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that leg LTM and isokinetic peak torque were independently and equally predictive of leg BMC and FN BMC, bone geometry and strength, explaining 8 to 28% of the variance in each of the bone traits after accounting for moment arm length. When isokinetic peak torque was corrected for both leg LTM and moment arm length, it remained an independent predictor of BMC, CSA and Z, but only accounted for an additional 2 to 5% of the variance.

Conclusion: These data suggest that DXA-derived leg LTM can be used as a reasonable surrogate for isokinetic peak muscle forces when assessing bone strength in relation to muscular function in healthy pre-pubertal girls.

1Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA; 2Clinical and Molecular Osteoporosis Research Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, SWEDEN; and 3Department of Orthopaedics, Malmö University Hospital, Malmö, SWEDEN

Address for correspondence: Robin M. Daly, Ph.D., Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Melbourne, Australia 3125; E-mail:

Submitted for publication October 2007.

Accepted for publication January 2008.

©2008The American College of Sports Medicine