The time of puberty affects bone strength

The time of puberty affects bone strength

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Stronger bones from early puberty?

Researchers have now found that the time of onset of puberty affects bone strength. Children entering early puberty have stronger bones than adults.

The University of Bristol's recent study found that early puberty affects bone strength in adulthood. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "JAMA Network Open".

Late puberty risk factor for osteoporosis?

Researchers have now examined thousands of UK children and have scanned their bones over a 15-year period. They found that children's bones were weaker the later they reached puberty. This, in turn, could be a determining factor in why certain adults later develop diseases such as osteoporosis.

Effects of early puberty on bone development

The research team found that children who experienced puberty the earliest had twelve percent more bone strength than children who experienced puberty later. The age for early onset of puberty in girls was 10.5 years and in boys it was 12.5 years. They also found that teenagers whose puberty growth was delayed still managed to catch up on bone strength because their bones became denser much faster at 18.

A certain deficit remained

Even though teenagers with later puberty managed to catch up with bone strength, there was still a deficit in young adulthood, the researchers report. At the age of 25, those who later entered puberty had almost five percent less bone strength than those who started puberty early.

More research is needed

In the future, further research should deal with a detailed assessment of the effects of late puberty, the research group explains. This includes an analysis of the long-term consequences on growth and bone development, in order to be able to recommend measures for strengthening their bones to people who are late in puberty. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Ahmed Elhakeem, Monika Frysz, Kate Tilling, Jon H. Tobias, Deborah A. Lawlor: Association Between Age at Puberty and Bone Accrual From 10 to 25 Years of Age, in JAMA Network Open (query: 08/12/2019), JAMA Network Open

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