Bones in pediatric Crohn's disease: A review of fracture risk in children and adults

Authors

  • Rebecca J. Hill PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Queensland, Children's Nutrition Research Centre, Herston, Qld. Australia
    • Children's Nutrition Research Centre, Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Queensland, Level 3 Foundation Bld., Royal Children's Hospital, Herston, Qld., 4029 Australia
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  • Denise S.K. Brookes M.Aps.Sc.,

    1. University of Queensland, Children's Nutrition Research Centre, Herston, Qld. Australia
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  • Peter S.W. Davies PhD

    1. University of Queensland, Children's Nutrition Research Centre, Herston, Qld. Australia
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Abstract

There is evidence to suggest that the inflammation associated with Crohn's disease (CD) impacts the bone health of patients, predisposing them to early onset osteoporosis and increasing their risk of fracture. Fractures have been documented in patients with CD, with a high proportion of these being found during young adulthood, which suggests that these patients are not simply fracturing as a result of the normal aging process but rather due to the presence of CD. In population terms, patients with CD have increased risk of fracture compared with the general population. Studies in children suggest that, irrespective of time on corticosteroid therapy, the underlying systemic inflammation associated with CD is an independent detrimental influence on the bone health of children with CD. This poses the question as to whether the onset of disease in childhood predisposes the individual to increased risk of future fractures later in life, as a result of decreased peak bone mass during the growing years. It is generally believed that dual energy x-ray absorptiometry-assessed areal bone mineral density is a good indicator of fracture risk; however, several studies have shown this may not be the case. New research, utilizing peripheral quantitative computed tomography, which provides a true volumetric assessment of bone, suggests altered bone geometry in patients with CD, which poses a structural threat by being more brittle and susceptible to damage accumulation. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2010;)

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