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USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine

Consumer News-- Facts and Answers

   

   

Volume 1, 2003


CNRC Scientists Develop Bone-Density Database

Physicians working with ill children have a new resource for monitoring the bone health of their young patients, thanks to CNRC body composition expert Dr. Kenneth Ellis. Physicians working with ill children have a new resource for monitoring the bone health of their young patients, thanks to CNRC body composition expert Dr. Kenneth Ellis.

Ellis, the director of the CNRC's body composition laboratory, and his team have developed a website that gives physicians access to the laboratory's extensive database of bone-density measurements.

"Our laboratory has collected whole-body bone-density measurements on over 1500 healthy children of different ages, genders, heights, weights and ethnic groups," said Ellis, a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. "As a result, we have assembled the most complete pediatric bone-density database in the country, which can now serve as a reference population to assist in interpreting the bone scans of children with diseases that may affect bone health."

Ellis and his team found that normal bone-density values of healthy children can vary significantly depending on their age, sex, body size, and ethnicity, which is why they felt it was important to give physicians access to the CNRC's well-characterized reference population.

"A pediatrician who orders a bone scan of an ill 9-year-old African-American boy, for example, can go to our website and enter information about the child's bone-density test results. These are compared with the appropriately matched references from the CNRC database and the relative status of the child's bone mineral density is immediately provided," Ellis said.

Access to the website database is limited to physicians and scientists. Those wishing to have access to this free service should send an E-mail to: kellis@bcm.tmc.edu


 

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