14 Aug

Modern osteopathy treatment at our London clinic is always informed by the latest research into health and the body, and this new study by researchers at the University of Bristol has uncovered an important link between our early development and later health.

According to Reuters, a study of over 6,000 British children has found that children who experienced growth spurts connected to puberty at later ages had a lower bone density in young adulthood. The study’s lead author Ahmed Elhakeem, an epidemiologist at the university, said that this meant these teens were more likely to break bones and could increase the risk of related illnesses in later life. “These later maturing teens did catch up to some degree with early maturing teens in terms of bone strength,” he explains, “but they continued to have lower bone strength after they finished growing and became adults, so they may also be at increased risk for osteoporosis in later life.”

Measuring the children between the age of five and 20, with at least one measurement after the age of nine was one stage of the research, but all children were also offered the chance to have their bone density measured at the ages of 10, 12, 14, 16 18 and 25. The strength of this study is that a lot of patients took up this request.

While this may arm those who have growth spurts in later life with the knowledge of a greater risk of low density bones and osteoporosis, it's unclear how this data can be utilised to help those who do develop this issue.

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