Can Children Acquire Their Parents’ History of Fracture?

(1) Grandview Christian School, Des Moines, Iowa, (2) Main Street School, Norwalk, Iowa, (3) Central Campus, Des Moines, Iowa
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Bone fractures in children can have long-term impacts on their development. As an example, a fracture that is close to the growth plates of a limb can cause stunted growth and impaired function of that limb throughout a child’s life. While parental history of hip fracture is a well-established risk for fracture in the adult population, there is little data about whether parental history of fracture affects fracture risk in pediatric populations. We surveyed twelve middle and high school students to investigate this association. Fractures secondary to motor vehicle accidents were excluded from this study. Students with a history of fracture were significantly more likely to have a parental history of fracture. Moreover, students with a personal history of more than one fracture were more likely to have a greater number of parental fractures compared to students without a personal history of fractures. These findings suggest that a parental history of fracture is a risk factor for fracture in pediatric populations and that the association should be further investigated by larger-scale studies.

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