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Bone Mineral Density Changes in Lactating Adolescent Mothers During the First Postpartum Year


Correspondence to: Rosa Olivia Méndez, Coordinación de Nutrición, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C. Km 0.6 Carretera a La Victoria, Hermosillo, Sonora, Apartado Postal 1735, CP 83000, México. E-mail:



This study aimed to compare changes in whole body bone mineral density (wbBMD) during the first postpartum year in adolescent mothers with those of nulliparous adolescents.


The study included 21 adolescent mothers and 16 nulliparous adolescent non-indigenous Mexican women (State of Sonora) from a low income level. All mothers were assessed at 15 days (0.5 months), 3 months, and 6 months postpartum; 16 were measured at 12 months postpartum. Nulliparous adolescents were assessed in the same periods. Multiple regression models was used to assess adjusted associations of changes in wbBMD (by DPX-MD+ densitometer) with dietary calcium and physical activity assessments (estimated using pre-tested questionnaires), post menarche years, and number of breast feedings.


At baseline, no differences were observed between nulliparous and adolescent mothers regarding age, post-menarche years, or BMD values. Changes in wbBMD of −0.56% and 0.77% were observed in mothers and nulliparous adolescents, respectively, after the first 3 months (P = 0.006). Changes in wbBMD in mothers were associated with number of breast feedings and changes in BMI. At 12 months postpartum, the BMD of adolescent mothers was similar to that of nulliparous adolescents.


At 1 year postpartum, adolescent mothers exhibited BMD similar to those of nulliparous adolescents. This result is likely attributable to the breastfeeding practices adopted by mothers during late adolescence. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 25:222–224, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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