Risk factors for poor bone health in adolescents and adults with CHARGE syndrome
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CHARGE syndrome, is associated with genital hypoplasia, feeding difficulties and delayed puberty. In this study we examined the prevalence of risk factors for poor bone health in adolescents and adults with CHARGE. Questionnaires assessing fracture history, dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D, pubertal status and activity level using the Habitual Activity Estimation Scale (HAES) were completed by caregivers. Control data were collected for the HAES. When available, reports from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) were obtained. Thirty individuals with CHARGE syndrome (n = 15 males; n = 15 females; age range 13 to 34 years; mean age 19.6 years) were recruited. Traumatic bony fractures were identified in 30% of the population. The recommended nutritional intake (RNI) for calcium and vitamin D were not met by 41% and 87% of the population, respectively, and 53% required past tube feeding. Delayed puberty was experienced by 87% with only 4 individuals (2 female, 2 males) having experienced normal puberty. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was taken by 33% of females and 60% of males. According to the HAES, adolescents with CHARGE syndrome (13-18 years) were significantly less active than controls. Individuals with CHARGE syndrome age 19 and older were also less active than controls, although this difference was not significant. DEXA scan data was obtained, however, due to small sample size (n = 10) and confounding variables (i.e., short stature, pubertal stage, height, weight), it was difficult to draw meaningful conclusions. Feeding difficulties, inactivity and hypogonadism are predisposing factors for the development of poor bone health among individuals with CHARGE syndrome. Education is necessary to raise awareness regarding the importance of HRT, proper nutrition and weight-bearing activity for healthy bone development and maintenance in individuals with CHARGE syndrome.
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