Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 848–856

Reduced Bone Cortical Thickness in Boys with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors

    • Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention ResearchNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health (DESPR, NICHD, NIH), Department of Health and Human Services
  • Lucinda J. England
    • Division of Reproductive HealthNational Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Cynthia A. Molloy
    • Center for Epidemiology and BiostatisticsCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
  • Kai F. Yu
    • Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention ResearchNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health (DESPR, NICHD, NIH), Department of Health and Human Services
  • Patricia Manning-Courtney
    • The Kelly O’Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Division of Developmental DisabilitiesCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • James L. Mills
    • Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention ResearchNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health (DESPR, NICHD, NIH), Department of Health and Human Services
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-007-0453-6

Cite this article as:
Hediger, M.L., England, L.J., Molloy, C.A. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2008) 38: 848. doi:10.1007/s10803-007-0453-6

Abstract

Bone development, casein-free diet use, supplements, and medications were assessed for 75 boys with autism or autism spectrum disorder, ages 4–8 years. Second metacarpal bone cortical thickness (BCT), measured on hand-wrist radiographs, and % deviations in BCT from reference medians were derived. BCT increased with age, but % deviations evidenced a progressive fall-off (= .02): +3.1 ± 4.7%, −6.5 ± 4.0%, −16.6 ± 3.4%, −19.4 ± 3.7%, −24.1 ± 4.4%, at ages 4–8, respectively, adjusting for height. The 12% of the boys on casein-free diets had an overall % deviation of −18.9 ± 3.7%, nearly twice that of boys on minimally restricted or unrestricted diets (−10.5 ± 1.3%, < .04), although even for boys on minimally restricted or unrestricted diets the % deviation was highly significant (< .001). Our data suggest that the bone development of autistic boys should be monitored as part of routine care, especially if they are on casein-free diets.

Keywords

AutismAutism spectrum disorderBoysBone growthCalcium intakeDietary intake

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007