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Bone health and physical activity in adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a cross-sectional case-control study

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posted on 2024-05-14, 13:59 authored by Egi Vasil, Colleen M. Nesbitt, Clodagh ToomeyClodagh Toomey, Gregor Kuntze, Shane Esau, Carolyn A. Emery, Leigh Gabel

Background Adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) tend to engage in less physical activity than their typically developing peers. Physical activity is essential for bone development and reduced physical activity may detrimentally effect bone health. Thus, we examined differences in total body bone mineral content (BMC) and areal bone mineral density (aBMD) between adolescents with JIA and adolescent controls without JIA. We also examined associations between moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), lean mass, and bone outcomes.

Methods Participants included 21 adolescents with JIA (14 females, 7 males) and 21 sex- and age-matched controls aged 10–20 years. Assessments included: height; weight; triple-single-leg-hop distance (TSLH); MVPA by accelerometry; and total body BMC, aBMD, and lean mass measured using dual X-ray absorptiometry. Height-adjusted z-scores were calculated for BMC and aBMD and used for all analyses. Multiple linear mixed effects models examined group differences in BMC and aBMD, adjusting for sex, maturity, MVPA, TSLH, and lean mass. Participants clusters, based on sex and age (within 18 months), were considered random effects.

Results Adolescents with JIA had lower total body aBMD z-scores [β (95% CI); -0.58 (-1.10 to -0.07), p=0.03] and BMC z-scores [-0.47 (-0.91 to -0.03), p=0.04] compared with controls. Mean daily MVPA was 22.0 min/day lower in adolescents with JIA than controls; however, MVPA was not associated with aBMD [-0.01 (-0.01 to 0.01), p=0.32] or BMC [0.00 (-0.01 to 0.00), p=0.39]. Lean mass was positively associated with aBMD [0.05 (0.01 to 0.09) g/cm2 , p=0.03] and BMC [0.06 (0.03 to 0.10) g, p<0.001].

Conclusion Adolescents with JIA had lower total body aBMD and BMC compared with sex- and age-matched controls without JIA. Group differences in bone outcomes were not associated with the lower MVPA participation of adolescents with JIA. Despite this, physical activity should still be encouraged as it promotes physical well-being.



Pediatric Rheumatology, 2024, 22 (45)



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