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Increase in arm fractures shows kids are at risk

September 22, 2003|Shari Roan

Kids today appear to be suffering far more forearm fractures than their parents did.

A study published in last week's Journal of the American Medical Assn. found that forearm fractures among kids increased 42% between 1969-71 and 1999-2001.

Girls ages 8 to 11 and boys ages 11 to 14 had higher fracture rates compared with other age groups.

The data, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., included fractures caused by disease, accidents and recreational activities.

The incidence of forearm fractures related to recreational activities almost doubled in the 32-year period.

More studies are needed, but the authors expressed concern about whether diet or other factors may be limiting bone-mass development in today's kids.

"Increasing rates for forearm fractures in children could mean we will see a dramatic increase in the risk for hip fractures and other more serious fractures when these children become older adults," said Dr. L. Joseph Melton III, a coauthor of the study.

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-- Shari Roan

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