Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by low bone mass and micro-architectural deterioration of bone tissue with a consequent increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture. Evidence is now accumulating from human studies that programming of bone growth might be an important contributor to the later risk of osteoporotic fracture. Body weight in infancy is a determinant of adult bone mineral content, as well as of the basal levels of activity of the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 (GH/IGF-1) and hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes, and recent work has suggested a central role for vitamin D. Epidemiological studies have shown that maternal smoking and nutrition during pregnancy influence intrauterine skeletal mineralization. Childhood growth rates have been directly linked to the risk of hip fracture many decades later, and now evidence is emerging from experimental animal studies that support these observational data. Recent studies have also highlighted epigenetic phenomena as potential mechanisms underlying the findings from epidemiological studies.

Original publication

DOI

10.1017/s2040174409990146

Type

Journal article

Journal

Journal of developmental origins of health and disease

Publication Date

06/2010

Volume

1

Pages

142 - 149

Addresses

1Reader and Honorary Consultant in Rheumatology, MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, Southampton General Hospital, University of Southampton, Southampton, England, UK.