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

  • Mary L. Hediger
  • Lucinda J. England
  • Cynthia A. Molloy
  • Kai F. Yu
  • Patricia Manning-Courtney
  • James L. Mills
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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary L. Hediger
    • 1
  • Lucinda J. England
    • 2
  • Cynthia A. Molloy
    • 3
  • Kai F. Yu
    • 1
  • Patricia Manning-Courtney
    • 4
  • James L. Mills
    • 1
  1. 1.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 ServicesBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Reproductive HealthNational Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human ServicesAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Center for Epidemiology and BiostatisticsCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA
  4. 4.The Kelly O’Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Division of Developmental DisabilitiesCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA