Children who experience a bone fracture are more likely to have another in the future, according to a new study.
Researchers analyzed health records of 2.5 million children ages 15 and younger in Ontario, Canada, noting who experienced a fracture between April 1, 2003, and March 31, 2004, and followed them for seven years.
About 1.75% of the children experienced a fracture during the baseline year. Among those, 23% had another fracture during the follow-up period compared to 11.3% of children who did not have a baseline fracture, according to “Risk of Recurrent Fracture: A Population-Based Study,” (Escott BG, et al. Pediatrics. July 15, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-2552.)
The team found being male was associated with increased risk of recurrent fracture starting at age 6 and peaking at 12 years. Soft tissue injuries and head injuries also were associated with fractures.
After adjusting for sex, fracture history, head injuries and soft tissue injuries, the rate of fracture during the follow-up period was 60% higher for those with a baseline fracture.
In addition to the above risk factors, researchers said a child’s activity level, behavior, environment and bone strength all may play a role in recurrent fractures. Those with poor bone health may consider calcium and vitamin D supplements, increased intake of protein and dairy, and increased weight-bearing physical activity.
“Identifying risk factors in children with fractures may be a useful strategy for secondary prevention of childhood fractures,” authors wrote, “and may possibly have beneficial effects on long-term bone health in later adult life.”