Study finds link between pre-school overweight and risk of bone fracture

Pre-school children who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of bone fractures during childhood than normal weight pre-schoolers, according to a study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

The study included 466,997 children with weight and height measurements at age 4 years who were followed for a median of 4.9 years.

Fractures occurred in 9.20% of underweight, 10.06% of normal weight, 11.28% of overweight, and 13.05% of obese children. Compared with normal weight, overweight and obesity were linked with 42% and 74% higher risks of lower limb fractures, respectively, and a 10% and 19% higher risk of upper limb fractures, respectively.

In a cohort of almost half a million children from Catalonia, Spain, we have found a strong association between pre-school overweight/obesity and the risk of fracture during childhood. More research is needed to further understand the mechanisms underlying this correlation."

Daniel Prieto-Alhambra, Ph.D., senior author, University of Oxford, in the UK

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