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Childhood fractures may indicate bone-density problems
Date:1/7/2014

fall from a relatively low height, such as from a bicycle. The children were aged 8 to 15, and included 108 control participants and 115 boys and girls treated for distal forearm fracture at Mayo within the previous 12 months.

Study participants underwent a sophisticated version of CT known as high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HRpQCT) to assess bone strength and quality. Trauma levels were assigned based on clinical notes, radiology reports and interviews with clinicians, parents and patients.

Compared with sex-matched controls, boys and girls with a mild-trauma distal forearm fracture had weaker bones. Their bones were able to tolerate less stress before fracturing, and they had thinner cortical bone the outer layer of bone tissue that carries out most of the functions of bone. The Mayo researchers' methodology differed from that used in previous research that found no difference in bone density in children with mild- and moderate-trauma fractures. That previous work relied on dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), a 2-dimensional technique that measures bone mass but not bone-tissue density.

"DXA can't measure the structural components of the bone, which are very important contributors to the overall strength of bone," Dr. Farr says.

The previous research also used mailed questionnaires to assess trauma level. "We had very detailed information from the data sources that Mayo allows us to have, so we are confident of our ability to classify the traumas," Dr. Farr says.

The study highlights Mayo's increased emphasis on pediatric research, which led to the recent establishment of the Children's Research Center at Mayo in Minnesota. Funding for the pediatric bone-density study was provided by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and by Mayo's Clinical and Translational Science Award.

The patient studies, which involved fasting blood tests and bioche
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Contact: Colette Gallagher
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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