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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2006 Nov;43(5):597-602.

The prevalence of long bone fractures in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, McMaster University and McMaster Children's Hospital Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.



The association of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with decreased bone mineral density is well recognized. In the adult population, up to 50% of IBD patients are reported to have osteopenia, correlating with an increase in the incidence of fractures as compared with controls. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of fractures in a pediatric population with IBD as compared with healthy sibling controls (SC).


The families of 209 patients with IBD were sent a questionnaire asking them to compare their children with IBD to a healthy sibling (non-IBD).


Surveys were returned by 132 of the 209 families (63%). The sample characteristics of this sample closely resembled the overall clinic population for age (mean 14.3 vs 14.7 years), gender (53% vs 59% male) and diagnosis (58.1 vs 57.8 Crohn disease). Completed surveys described 263 children. Of the 132 with IBD 73 (55%) had Crohn disease, 52 (39%) had ulcerative colitis and 7 (6%) had indeterminate colitis. There were 76/132 males (age range, 4-18 years) with IBD and 64/131 males (age range, 1-26 years) in the sibling controls. Mean ages of the IBD sample 14.3 +/-.3 was compared with 13.9 +/- in SC. Of the total group, 73/263 (28%) reported ever having a fracture, 44 (60%) were siblings (SC), and 29 (40%) had IBD. Of the 29 children with IBD, 17 (59%) reported having a fracture after diagnosis including 2 who had fractures both before and after diagnosis. The total number of fractures reported was 96 (55 SC:41 IBD).


In this survey, we found no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of fracture in IBD patients compared with their normal siblings.

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