Low bone mineral density common in children and teenagers with inflammatory bowel disease

Aug 23, 2010

A thesis from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) is the first in Scandinavia to study the occurrence of low bone mineral density in children and teenagers with inflammatory bowel disease. Half of the patients in the study showed signs of low bone mineral density. The results emphasise the importance of treating the underlying inflammatory bowel disease more effectively, and of measuring bone mineral density in this group of patients.

Low , or BMD, was evident in around half of the 144 participants with inflammatory bowel disease aged between six and 19 in a major study in western Sweden. Disturbed development of BMD during childhood and adolescence may increase the risk of osteoporosis later in life and thus the likelihood of fractures.

"Possible risk factors for low BMD were more severe disease with increased inflammatory activity in the gut, male gender and low ," says Susanne Schmidt, researcher at the Institute of Clinical Sciences.

Genetic factors also had a major role to play in the children's BMD, aside from their chronic gastrointestinal inflammation which itself can affect BMD.

"We investigated the children's biological parents and measured their BMD," says Schmidt. "We found a clear correlation between the parents' and the children's BMD. Where both parents had a low BMD, a child was six times more likely to have a low BMD too. A similar correlation has previously been described in healthy children and their parents."

However, the researchers saw that after two years the BMD of the oldest patients was showing signs of recovery, which will be investigated more closely in a follow-up study.

According to Schmidt there have, to date, been neither international nor national guidelines for monitoring BMD in children and teenagers with . She therefore sees a need to introduce checks on BMD, particularly in those patients with risk factors, such as more active disease, low body mass index or parents with a known low BMD.

"The results of the study also underline the importance of optimising the treatment of these patients to minimise the inflammation which is partly behind the low BMD."

Explore further: Overwhelmed west Africa escalates Ebola response

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

WHO tool helps target bone treatment

Dec 03, 2008

Better targeted, more cost-effective osteoporosis treatment could soon be a reality worldwide. A new method for determining more accurately at which point someone needs further diagnostic tests, or when immediate treatment ...

Recommended for you

Overwhelmed west Africa escalates Ebola response

54 minutes ago

West Africa intensified its response to the deadly Ebola epidemic on Sunday, with Sierra Leone uncovering scores of dead bodies during a 72-hour shutdown and Liberia announcing 1,000 hospital beds.

Sierra Leone reaches final day of Ebola lockdown

4 hours ago

Frustrated residents complained of food shortages in some neighborhoods of Sierra Leone's capital on Sunday as the country reached the third and final day of a sweeping, unprecedented lockdown designed to ...

Sierra Leone faces criticism over Ebola shutdown

Sep 20, 2014

Sierra Leone began the second day of a 72-hour nationwide shutdown aimed at containing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus on Saturday amid criticism that the action was a poorly planned publicity stunt.

Presence of peers ups health workers' hand hygiene

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—The presence of other health care workers improves hand hygiene adherence, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

User comments : 0