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Background: Our aim was to investigate if moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), calcium intake interacts with bone mineral density (BMD)-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to influence BMD in 750 Hispanic children (4-19y) of the cross-sectional Viva La Familia Study.

Methods: Physical activity and dietary intake were measured by accelerometers and multiple-pass 24 h dietary recalls, respectively. Total body and lumbar spine BMD were measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. A polygenic risk score (PRS) was computed based on SNPs identified in published literature. Regression analysis was conducted with PRSs, MVPA and calcium intake with total body and lumbar spine BMD.

Results: We found evidence of statistically significant interaction effects between the PRS and MVPA on total body BMD and lumbar spine BMD (p < 0.05). Higher PRS was associated with a lower total body BMD (β = − 0.040 ± 0.009, p = 1.1 × 10− 5 ) and lumbar spine BMD (β = − 0.042 ± 0.013, p = 0.0016) in low MVPA group, as compared to high MVPA group (β = − 0.015 ± 0.006, p = 0.02; β = 0.008 ± 0.01, p = 0.4, respectively).

Discussion: The study indicated that calcium intake does not modify the relationship between genetic variants and BMD, while it implied physical activity interacts with genetic variants to affect BMD in Hispanic children. Due to limited sample size of our study, future research on gene by environment interaction on bone health and functional studies to provide biological insights are needed.


© The Author(s). 2021

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

BMC Pediatrics



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Mentor/PI Department

Office of Human Genetics



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