Bone Health, Body Composition, and Vitamin D Status of Black Preadolescent Children in South Africa.


Department Human Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa. [Email]


Optimal bone health is important in children to reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Both body composition and vitamin D play an important role in bone health. This study aimed to describe bone health, body composition, and vitamin D status, and the relationship between these among a group of conveniently sampled black preadolescent South African children (n = 84) using a cross-sectional study. Body composition, bone mineral density (BMD), and bone mineral content (BMC) were assessed using dual x-ray absorptiometry. Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) (n = 59) were assessed using dried blood spots. A quarter (25%) of children presented with low bone mass density for their chronological age (BMD Z-score < -2) and 7% with low BMC-for-age (BMC Z-score < -2), while only 34% of the children had sufficient vitamin D status (25(OH)D ≥ 30 ng/mL). Lean mass was the greatest body compositional determinant for variances observed in bone health measures. Body composition and bone health parameters were not significantly different across vitamin D status groups (p > 0.05), except for lumbar spine bone mineral apparent density (LS-BMAD) (p < 0.01). No association was found between bone parameters at all sites and levels of 25(OH)D (p > 0.05). Further research, using larger representative samples of South African children including all race groups is needed before any conclusions and subsequent recommendation among this population group can be made.


South Africa,body composition,bone health,preadolescent children,vitamin D,

OUR Recent Articles