Fractures in childhood increase risk of injury in adulthood: Research

Dunedin. Breaking bones in childhood is not just a minor problem. This can be a warning sign of future fracture risk and osteoporosis. A history of bone fractures is one of the strongest predictors of future fractures, yet current guidelines used to determine osteoporosis risk ignore childhood fractures. The study examined the history of fractures in a group of middle-aged people.

Osteoporosis increases the risk of fractures
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone, which increases the risk of fracture. Bone mineral density (BMD) decreases in osteoporosis. The study found that people who had broken a bone more than once in childhood were more than twice as likely to break a bone as an adult. In women, this resulted in lower hip bone density by age 45.

Childhood fractures increase the risk of osteoporosis
Childhood fractures predict osteoporosis risk. About one in two children breaks a bone in childhood, with about a quarter of boys and 15 percent of girls suffering multiple fractures. But we do not currently fully understand why some children break bones frequently or whether this can predict bone health in adulthood.

Due to these reasons, the bones of children break again and again.
There are many reasons for children’s bones to break. Previous research has shown that children with fractures live in poor homes, work hard, suffer from vitamin D deficiency, consume a diet low in calcium or face physical abuse. Children who have frequent fractures may also have a particularly fragile body structure, be at higher risk of ‘accidents’, or may have fractured bones during sports and physical activity. But an important question is whether there is a temporary loss of bone strength as children with osteoporosis develop, or whether these weaknesses continue into adulthood.

1000 babies monitored
The ‘Dunedin Study’ followed the development of 1,000 babies born at Otepotie Dunedin between April 1972 and March 1973. Study participants were assessed several times every few years on a range of topics, including risk-taking behavior, participation in sports, and physical abuse. The study subjects were asked several times about their injuries since they were children. This means we can compare their medical fracture history in middle age with their memories from childhood.

Fracture in childhood increases the risk of fracture again
The study found that boys and girls who suffered more than one fracture in childhood were more than twice as likely to have a fracture as an adult. Also, those who were not injured in childhood remained free from it even as adults. This study demonstrated an increased risk of fractures in adulthood for both men and women. However, why this is so is not clear. The persistent risk was not associated with other behavioral factors, such as demographics, obesity, childhood abuse, or sports participation.

why does it matter
Although we do not know the exact mechanism for this increased risk of fracture in adulthood, the results can be used to raise awareness for those at risk. Parents of children with repeated injuries in childhood should be informed about the various ways to prevent osteoporosis with age.

Weight-related behavioral changes, increased intake of calcium and vitamin D, and consumption of protein and dairy products are beneficial measures that can be initiated and sustained at any point in life. Osteoporosis affects adults after middle age.

We look forward to continuing to examine the relationship between childhood fractures and bone health in adulthood in this special population of people as they age, to find out if these relationships hold for women after menopause. persist or affect lifelong risk in men.

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