In addition to its well-established effects on linear growth in childhood and adolescence, growth hormone has both direct and indirect actions on bone remodelling and homeostasis. In this review the limitations of methods of assessment of bone mineral density are highlighted. The influence of growth hormone deficiency of childhood-onset, on bone mineral accretion and, the specific skeletal implications of GHD in long-term survivors of childhood cancers, are discussed. Specific influential factors, which affect peak bone mass achievement and therefore skeletal health in later life, are evaluated. Med Pediatr Oncol 2003;41:235–242. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.