Later Puberty Linked To Lower Adult Bone Density Interview with:

Dr. Cousminer

Dr. Cousminer

Diana L. Cousminer, PhD
Division of Human Genetics
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA 19104 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Osteoporosis is a significant public health burden, with origins early in life. Later puberty and lower adolescent bone mineral density are both risk factors for osteoporosis.

Geneticists have identified hundreds of genetic variants across the genome that impact pubertal timing, and we found that collectively this variation also plays a role in bone mineralization during adolescence. Additionally, we found that later puberty caused lower adult bone density. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Genetic variation that leads to later timing of puberty also tracks with lower bone mineral density throughout life, which may impact later life bone health. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: In the future, studies should focus on developing strategies to maximize bone acquisition in adolescents, particularly in those who are at risk of low bone density. One example of a strategy would be to promote weight-bearing physical activity to strengthen bones. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Cousminer, D. L., Mitchell, J. A., Chesi, A., Roy, S. M., Kalkwarf, H. J., Lappe, J. M., Gilsanz, V., Oberfield, S. E., Shepherd, J. A., Kelly, A., McCormack, S. E., Voight, B. F., Zemel, B. S. and Grant, S. F. (2017), Genetically Determined Later Puberty Impacts Lowered Bone Mineral Density in Childhood and Adulthood. J Bone Miner Res. doi:10.1002/jbmr.3320

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on December 4, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD