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Fracture risk factors among children living in New Zealand

Delshad M1Beck KL1Conlon CA1Mugridge O1Kruger MC1von Hurst PR2.

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2020 Mar 11:105655. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2020.105655. [Epub ahead of print]



Factures are common during childhood. There are limited data available regarding relationships between bone fracture history and calcium intake, sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) intake, vitamin D status, physical activity (PA), ethnicity, and body composition in New Zealand (NZ) children. Identifying groups of NZ children at risk of fracture and associated predictors may help to improve bone quality during childhood and decrease the risk of fractures throughout life. The aim of this study was to investigate fracture history and associated risk factors in New Zealand children. Children aged 8-12 years were recruited. Capillary blood spots collected from a finger prick were as analyzed for 25(OH)D concentrations. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (InBody720, Seoul, Korea) was used to measure body fat percentage (%BF). Information about fracture history, siblings’ history of fractures, family osteoporosis history, PA, ethnicity, and intake of calcium containing foods, and SSBs was collected using questionnaires. Children (n = 647, 354 girls), mean ± SD age 9.8 ± 0.7 years were recruited from six Auckland primary schools. NZ European (n = 252) (NZE) and South Asian (n = 68) children reported the lowest (20.2%) and highest (44.1%) fracture incidence, respectively. NZE compared to South Asian children, had higher 25(OH)D concentrations (74.6 ± 19.8 vs. 48.4 ± 19.3 nmol/L, P < 0.001), higher total calcium intake (764.0 ± 394.4 vs. 592.7 ± 266.3 mg/d, P < 0.018), and lower %BF (19.5 ± 6.6 vs. 23.4 ± 8.4, P < 0.003). Māori children had the next highest fracture rate (32.5%). This group had adequate 25(OH)D (64.2 ± 18.9 nmol/L), but high %BF (23.9%) and most participated in vigorous PA. After stratifying by sex, binary logistic regression analysis revealed the main determinants of fracture history for boys were high %BF, low 25(OH)D, low calcium intake, high SSBs consumption, siblings’ fracture history, family osteoporosis history, and being South Asian; and in girls, high SSBs consumption, siblings’ fracture history, and family osteoporosis history. We found South Asian ethnicity was a significant risk factor for boys. Some children were at high risk of vitamin D deficiency and for whom supplementation may be necessary in winter. Good nutrition (especially good sources of calcium and reducing SSBs intakes) should be recommended to children during growth and development to reduce their risk of fractures.