Evaluation of nutritional status of children and adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis: a pilot study

Edyta Matusik, Jacek Durmała, Paweł Matusik, Jerzy Piotrowski
Ortopedia, Traumatologia, Rehabilitacja 2012, 14 (4): 351-62

BACKGROUND: Body composition changes during childhood and adolescence. It is markedly different in children with idiopathic scoliosis (IS). This study was carried out to assess the nutritional status of patients with IS based on standard anthropometric indices and bioimpedance measurements (BIA).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: 59 patients with IS (45 girls/ 14 boys) at a mean age of 13.37 ± 2.67 years were qualified into the study. Scoliotic curves were assessed radiographically by measuring Cobb's angle and apical vertebral rotation (AVR, standing A-P view). Height, weight, waist and hip circumferences were measured and the body mass index (BMI), BMI Z-score, waist/height ratio (WHtR) and waist/hip ratio (WHR) were calculated for each participant. A bioelectrical impedance analyzer was used to assess body composition in every child.

RESULTS: 64.4% of the children in the study had normal weight, while 23.7% of them were underweight and 11.9% overweight or obese. More patients in the juvenile IS group were underweight and fewer were overweight compared with the adolescent IS (AIS) group. Normal nutritional status was found significantly more frequently in girls. Body composition correlated significantly with scoliotic curve severity in the study group. Higher correlation coefficients were seen in overweight and obese patients, but significance was reached only for predicted muscle mass. WHtR correlated significantly with curve severity in the entire group, in AIS patients and in girls. Scoliotic curve severity also correlated significantly with the degree, as measured by the BMI Z-score, of both overweight (positively) and underweight (negatively).

CONCLUSIONS: 1. Overweight and obesity appear to have a similar prevalence in scoliotic adolescents and in the general pediatric population. 2. Scoliotic curve severity appears to be related to body composition parameters, especially in overweight and obese patients. 3. Adipose tissue distribution measured by WHtR seems to be significantly related to the clinical grade of IS. 4. Further investigations concerning the nutritional status of children and adolescents with IS are recommended.

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