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Why boys with asthma have weaker bones

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Asthma increases the risk of bone fractures in boys, new research suggests.

Moderate-to-severe sufferers of the condition, who experience symptoms daily, are 30 per cent more likely to break a bone than those without the inflammatory lung disease, a study found.

Lead author Dr Sharon Brennan-Olsen, from the University of Melbourne, said: “Because asthma is an inflammatory disease it can lead to bone loss by interfering with the mechanisms in the bone formation and resorption.”

Girls with asthma are not at a higher risk of fractures, which may be due to them taking part in less risky behaviours, according to the researchers.

The scientists recommend young, male asthma sufferers continue to be active but be aware of the risks.

How the research was carried out? The researchers analysed more than 16,000 students aged between three and 13 from 91 primary schools in the state of Victoria.

The students were linked to fracture registers. Their asthma symptoms were determined by their parents completing a questionnaire that asked about any wheezing episodes or related doctor visits.

The findings were published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.


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