Nutrients, diet, and other factors in prenatal life and bone health in young adults: A systematic review of longitudinal studies

Karina H. Jensen, Kamilla R. Riis, Bo Abrahamsen, Mina N. Händel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Optimizing skeletal health in early life has potential effects on bone health later in childhood and in adulthood. We aimed to evaluate the existing evidence that maternal exposures during pregnancy have an impact on the subsequent bone health among offspring in young adults aged between 16 and 30 years. The protocol is registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) (ID: CRD42019126890). The search was conducted up to 2 April 2019. We included seven observational prospective cohort studies that examined the association between maternal dietary factors, vitamin D concentration, age, preeclampsia, and smoking with any bone indices among offspring. The results indicated that high concentrations of maternal vitamin D; low fat intake; and high intakes of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium may increase the bone mineral density in offspring at age 16. Evidence also suggests that the offspring of younger mothers may have a higher peak bone mass. It remains inconclusive whether there is an influence of preeclampsia or maternal smoking on bone health among young adults. Our assessment of internal validity warrants a cautious interpretation of these results, as all of the included studies were judged to have serious risks of bias. High-quality studies assessing whether prenatal prognostic factors are associated with bone health in young adults are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2866
Issue number9
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Bone health
  • Bone mineral density
  • Peak bone mass
  • Prenatal exposure
  • Prenatal nutrition
  • Systematic review


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