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Radiographers busier up north

Wednesday 3rd February 2016
Under-18s in the north of England are more likely to suffer a broken bone than those in the south, according to new research. Image: iStock/Kameel
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There may be greater demand for radiographers in the north of England and in Scotland as new research reveals that children are more likely to suffer broken bones if they live in these regions.

This is according to a study carried out by doctors at the University of Southampton, who analysed statistics from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink to explore the correlation between location and broken bone risk.

It was found that individuals in the north of England and Scotland were significantly more likely than their southern counterparts to break a bone before the age of 18, while childhood fracture rates in Wales were almost twice as high as those in Greater London.

The researchers also took the number of broken bones affecting under-18s of different ethnicities into account, finding that white children were most likely to suffer a break, with a rate of 150 recorded per every 10,000 young people each year.

Meanwhile, the rate for South Asian youngsters was 81 in every 10,000, with this decreasing even further to 64 in each 10,000 for black children.

Overall, the findings suggest that almost one-third (30 per cent) of boys and 19 per cent of girls will break at least one bone before they turn 18.

Study co-author Nicholas Harvey commented: "The demonstration of differences in fracture rates by ethnicity and location will clearly be helpful in targeting health resources to those at greatest risk - given the high rates of childhood fracture and the impact in terms of pain, immobility and interruption of schooling, our findings provide real support for such strategies."

Fizz Thompson, clinical and operations director at the National Osteoporosis Society, added that poor bone health is an issue that needs urgently addressing, as currently three million people in the UK are living with osteoporosis, while approximately 300,000 fractures are recorded in the country each year.

Written by Megan Smith

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