Bone Maturation Reflects the Secular Trend in GrowthMatsuoka H.a · Sato K.b · Sugihara S.a · Murata M.a
aDepartment of Pediatrics, Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Daini Hospital, and bDepartment of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Tohoku University, Tokyo, Japan
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The aim of this study was to compare a series of X-rays from the mid–1990s with another taken in the mid–1980s in order to test the possibility that environmental causes affect the skeletal maturation. The first group of subjects included a total of 1,057 girls and 1,055 boys participating in a project for Japan and China health research in 1986. The second group of subjects included a total of 382 girls and 629 boys participating in a project for bone mineral density research in 1996. The skeletal maturity score using the Tanner-Whitehouse 2-RUS method was used as the fundamental datum. This score was used to represent each group. The Wilcoxon’s rank sum test was applied to examine the significance of the difference between the 1986 and the 1996 groups. The 1996 children had not matured more than the 1986 children; children in both groups reached the given scores at almost the same ages. In girls, there was little difference between the groups at 7 years of age, but it declined from 8 years of age onward. Some apparent differences arose at ages 14 and 15, but ceased by age 16 in girls. In boys, no differences were found in those aged from 7 to 17 years, except for 12-year-olds. We did not detect much of a difference in bone maturation between the 1986 and 1996 groups of children, and no differences in height during the same period. Our findings suggest that bone maturation reflects the secular trend in growth.
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