BoneKEy Reports | Reviews

The case for genome-wide association studies of bone acquisition in paediatric and adolescent populations

John P Kemp
Carolina Medina-Gomez
Jonathan H Tobias
Fernando Rivadeneira
David M Evans



Peak bone mass, the maximum amount of bone accrued at the end of the growth period, is an important predictor of future risk of osteoporosis and fracture. Hence, the contribution of genetic factors influencing bone accrual is of considerable interest to the osteoporosis research community. In this article, we review evidence that genetic factors play an important role in bone growth, describe the genetic loci implicated so far and briefly discuss lessons learned from the application of genome-wide association studies. Moreover, we attempt to make the case for genetic investigations of bone mineral density in paediatric and young adult populations, describing their potential to increase our knowledge of the process of bone metabolism throughout the life course, and in turn, identify novel targets for the pharmacological treatment of osteoporosis.

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