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Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2008 Jun;9(2):107-22. doi: 10.1007/s11154-007-9070-0. Epub 2007 Dec 29.

Chronic pediatric inflammatory diseases: effects on bone.

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University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT, USA.


In children, chronic inflammatory diseases present a significant challenge to long-term skeletal health. These conditions are often associated with poor appetite and suboptimal overall nutrition, altered nutrient utilization, delayed puberty, inactivity, and reduced muscle mass, all of which can alter bone metabolism. In addition, bone cell activity is susceptible to the effects of the immune response that characterizes these diseases. Moreover, drugs used to treat these maladies, notably glucocorticoids, may have negative effects on bone formation and on linear growth in developing children. As a result, predicted peak bone mass may not be achieved, and fracture risk may be increased in the short term or in the future. Studies using primarily dual energy X-ray absorptiometry have documented that deficits in bone mass are common in these diseases. However, there are wide variations in the prevalence of low bone mass, largely due to differences in the characteristics of each study population. Recent studies provide insight into the pathogenesis of decreased bone mass in these conditions. In this paper we will provide an overview of the effects of chronic inflammatory conditions on bone mass in children. We will also present relevant data from adult patients, when pediatric data are scant or not available.

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