The relationship between socioeconomic status, schools and bone health among adolescent females in Southern Ontario
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We studied the association between socioeconomic status (SES), school attended and bone health measured by bone speed of sound (SOS) among adolescent females in Canada. 412 participants from six randomly selected schools in Southern Ontario were examined. Bone SOS was measured by quantitative ultrasound. Participant’s school and aggregate area-based census-derived (AABCD) SES were evaluated as predictors. Mean participant age was 15.7 (SD 1.0) years. Average median family income was $68,162 (SD $19,366). Median family income was non-linearly associated with bone SOS and restricted cubic splines described the relationship. Univariate regression, accounting for clustering of participants in schools, revealed a significant non-linear association between AABCD-median family income and non-dominant tibial SOS (LRT p = 0.031). Multivariable regression revealed school to have a significant impact (LRT p = 0.0001). High schools had a strong influence on the bone health of female students and this effect overrode the effect of SES.