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Farming at young age may lead to bone disease in adulthood
Date:7/14/2008

. A person's bone mass continues to accumulate up through their mid 20s.

"If bone is unable to adequately absorb incoming shockwaves, it can cause microdamage and eventually crack," explains Bhattacharya. "When it happens at a lower level, the body can recover. But if happens too much and more frequently in developing bone, it may predispose these children to degenerative skeletal disorders later in life."

The UC study showed that young boys who participated in regular farming activities had significantly lower bone-damping ability compared to the non-farming group. "Damping" refers to the bone's ability to absorb shock when the heel strikes the ground.

"We've detected signs that high levels of cumulative weight-bearing activity during a time of rapid bone growth could cause chronic trauma to bone growth plates," says Bhattacharya. "Larger studies are needed to determine the extent of damage, but our initial findings support taking a closer look at how much physical activity farming children are doing and make sure their bone is developing normally for their age."

Bhattacharya points out that weight-bearing activities are not badit's excessive activity in this age group that causes concern.

Increased stress concentrations cause maladaptations in bone modeling, which can lead to osteoarthritis conditions that make the bones very stiff and cause damage to the cartilage between the bones.

"It's a very sensitive balance of what is acceptable and at what point it becomes dangerous," he adds.


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Contact: Amanda Harper
amanda.harper@uc.edu
513-558-4657
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

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