Children who experience their first fracture at a young age have high rates of fracture
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- Yeh, F., Grant, A.M., Williams, S.M. et al. Osteoporos Int (2006) 17: 267. doi:10.1007/s00198-005-2009-y
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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.