Defining Osteoporosis in Children and Adolescents

30 January 2020
Bone & Musculoskeletal Health

Osteoporosis – a condition that is associated with an increased risk of sustaining a broken bone is common in older people, but not usually considered a problem in children. There is however a small but significant group of children and adolescents who easily break their bones due to osteoporosis.

Over the past 20 years, there has been a growing recognition of the need to accurately identify and treat children with osteoporotic fractures. A collaborative manuscript recently published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism looks at the definition and diagnosis of Osteoporosis in children and adolescents.

Professor Craig Munns, Senior Staff Specialist in Endocrinology Paediatrics & Child Health at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Metabolic Bone Team Leader at Kids Research are amongst the key researchers in this study.

The diagnosis of osteoporosis in children and adolescents is challenging as the growth of their bones influences the measurement of density, especially during puberty. The current criteria in defining paediatric osteoporosis lacks important considerations such as long bone fracture characteristics and other clinical features in each individual. This new published study presents a new diagnostic paradigm that goes beyond bone density and simply the number of fractures a child has sustained.

Our appreciation of the significance of fractures in children with underlying bone disorders has changed over the years. It is important for us to review the definition of osteoporosis in children so clinicians are able to provide a timely diagnosis and treatment – Prof Craig Munns.

Read the full published study here:

A Contemporary View of the Definition and Diagnosis of Osteoporosis in Children and Adolescents

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