Study suggests hereditary link for adolescent spinal deformity

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Yair Zloof

There is a considerable increased risk for adolescent spinal deformity (ASD) among those whose parents have suffered spinal deformities, according to a new national study of more than 6,000 patients.

The cross-sectional Israeli study—the findings of which were published in Spine by Yair Zloof (Israel Defense Force Medical Corps, Ramat Gan, Israel) et al—was designed to investigate the risk for ASD among individuals whose parents had a spinal deformity.

The researchers note that “while the leading medical organisations endorse contradictory positions regarding the screening of the general population, there is a consensus that screening of targeted population should be considered”, adding that “due to their genetic predisposition, adolescents whose parents suffer from a spinal deformity may be candidates for targeted screening.”

The nationwide, population-based study included a total of 611,689 Israeli adolescents, aged 16 to 19 years old, who were screened for spinal deformities between the years 2000 and 2019. The data for this study were derived from a central database containing medical records of all adolescents who were examined preliminary to mandatory military service. In the study, ASD was strictly defined by plain X-ray.

The study found that, compared with adolescents whose parents did not have a spinal deformity, the odds ratios for ASD among adolescents whose father, mother, or both parents had spinal deformity were 1.46, 1.74, and 2.58, respectively. These ratios were also found to be consistent in multivariate models.

Speaking to Spinal News International, Zloof said: “Timely treatment of ASD is effective. We therefore believe it is important to identify populations that could benefit from targeted screening.”


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