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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1985 Mar;10(2):165-70.

Can infant malnutrition cause adult vertebral stenosis?

Abstract

Does infant malnutrition produce smaller adult spinal canals? Lumbar and thoracic vertebrae (n X 1073), from a prehistoric American Indian population (15-55 yrs of age), were measured for anteroposterior (AP) and transverse (TR) vertebral canal sizes, nerve root tunnel (intervertebral foramen) widths (NRT), vertebral heights (VH), vertebral osteophytosis (VO), and tibial lengths. They underwent a dietary change from hunting-gathering, protein rich (PR), to maize agriculture, protein deficient (PD), between 950 and 1300 A.D. Multivariate analyses controlled for age, sex, culture, NRT, VH, VO, and wedging. Canal size was significantly smaller in the PD. AP diameters were generally and highly correlated with NRT, and thus both spinal stenosis and sciatica may have a developmental basis. Canal size was independent of statural components. Consequently, canal size is a most powerful tool in assessing the presence infant malnutrition. Moreover, perhaps the association between canal size and low-back pain (LBP) found in living populations has been underestimated, and this component of LBP is preventable.

PMID:
4002040
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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