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Osteoporos Int. 2006 Feb;17(2):267-72. Epub 2005 Sep 24.

Children who experience their first fracture at a young age have high rates of fracture.

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Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Otago, P.O. Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand.


Rate of fracture was examined according to age at first fracture in 313 New Zealand children (145 girls, 168 boys) under l3 years of age (95.4% of a consecutive series of children treated at one hospital for a recent confirmed fracture at any site). In their lifetimes they had experienced 468 separate fracture events, over half (54.7%) occurring in the 32.3% of children breaking bones on more than one occasion. Children experiencing a first fracture before 4 years of age had 36.7 (95%CI 30.7-44.1) fractures per l00 years of exposure: this was a significantly higher rate than that of children experiencing their first fracture later in life. Thus, using the <4.0 year age group as a reference, we found that rate ratios (adjusted for gender) for groups that had suffered the first fracture at later ages were: first fracture between 4.0 and 6.99 years, 0.77 (95%CI 0.58-1.03); first fracture between 7.0 and 9.99 years, 0.63 (95%CI 0.42-0.94); first fracture between 10.0 and 12.99 years, 0.48 (95% CI 0.32-0.72). Asthma was over-represented (31% seen, 25% expected), and a high proportion of the sample (32.9%) used corticosteroid medications; however, neither characteristic affected age at first fracture. In contrast, the large number (n= 42) of youngsters (13.4% of the sample) reporting adverse reactions to milk were younger at first fracture than children without reactions to milk (P<0.05). We conclude that children experiencing their first fracture at a young age have high rates of fracture and should be targeted for advice to improve their bone strength.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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