Osteoporosis in children and adolescents

Bianchi, M.L

Recently, the issue of bone density in today's youth has become a hot topic. The definition of osteoporosis is valid at any age, however its practical applicability to adolescents and children is cause for debate; as there is no consensus on diagnosis based solely on bone mineral density (BMD) alone.

BMD is a predictor of fracture risk in growing subjects, an a Z score of -2 is considered to be a serious warning. However some diagnoses are not made unless presented with a low BMD and a minimum of one fragility fracture. "Normal" values for comparison are constantly changing with age and depend on a variety of variables e.g. height, body size, skeletal maturation.

The scope of the review is limited to the available knowledge. Literature on fractures is presented in detail as this is part of the debate. Few papers attempt to identify fragility fractures in children, and the author found that even fewer developed the idea of osteoporosis in children in relation to them.

Bone 2007 (41):4, 486-495

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