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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

East Tennessee: Understanding the Pattern of Pediatric Bone Mineralization

Dr. Liang Wang, associate professor for the department of biostatistics and epidemiology at East Tennessee State University College of Public Health, has authored a paper in BMJ Open entitled, “Bone mineral density reference standards for Chinese children aged 3-18: cross-sectional results of the 2013-2015 China Child and Adolescent Cardiovascular Health (CCACH) Study.”

Dr. Wang is lead author of the article along with Dr. Junting Liu of the Capital Institute of Pediatrics in Beijing, China.  Additional authors include faculty from The First Hospital of Jilin University, Tianjin Women’s and Children’s Health Center, the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University, Shandong University, Children’s Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, and Ningxia Medical University in China as well as the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana.

Osteoporosis, the loss of bone mass, which can put an individual at risk for fractures, has become a global public health problem. In China, the population with osteoporosis in 1997 was 83.9 million, and this is projected to increase to 212 million by 2050.  Peak bone mass is an important determinant for osteoporosis-related fractures. A higher peak bone mass, which typically occurs in a person’s early 20s, is associated with lower risk of osteoporotic fractures later in life.

Understanding the pattern of bone mineralization in children, is, therefore, of significant interest.   The aim of this study was to provide the first bone mineral density reference values for those aged 3 – 18 years.  This study used data from 10,818 participants from the China Child and Adolescent Cardiovascular Health surveys were collected by the research team in 2015.

The authors found children living in Northeast China had the highest bone mass density while those living in Shandong Province had the lowest values. They also found that boys had higher total bone mass density than girls and this measure increased with age and height. The authors noted that bone mass density is higher among U.S. children as compared with Chinese children.

This is the first study to present a sex-specific reference dataset for Chinese children aged 3 – 18 years. The data can help clinicians improve interpretation, assessment and monitoring of densitometry results.

BMJ Open is a medical journal with an impact factor of 2.369 covering research questions in clinical medicine, public health, and epidemiology, and any other field that directly addresses patient outcomes or the practice and delivery of healthcare.