Bone mineral and predictors of bone mass in white, Hispanic, and Asian early pubertal girls.
Differences in bone among racial/ethnic groups may be explained by differences in body size and shape. Previous studies have not completely explained differences among white, Asian, and Hispanic groups during growth. To determine racial/ethnic differences and predictors of bone mass in early pubertal girls, we measured bone mineral content (BMC) in white, Hispanic, and Asian sixth-grade girls across six states in the United States. We developed models for predicting BMC for the total-body, distal radius, total-hip, and lumbar spine for 748 subjects. For each of the bone sites, the corresponding area from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was a strong predictor of BMC, with correlations ranging 0.78-0.98, confirming that larger subjects have more BMC. Anthropometric measures of bone area were nearly as effective as bone area from DXA at predicting BMC. For total-body, distal radius, lumbar spine, and total-hip BMC, racial/ethnic differences were explained by differences in bone area, sexual maturity, physical activity, and dairy calcium intake. Bone size explained most of the racial/ethnic differences in BMC, although behavioral indicators were also significant predictors of BMC.