Demetech AB

Swedish DXL technology measures effects on bone density of Chernobyl accident

Press Release   •   Sep 24, 2008 11:39 CEST

A new study has been published in the international journal "Annals of Traumatology and Orthopedics" by a research team led byProf. S.S. Rodionova, founder of the Russian Osteoporosis Society and Professor of Traumatology at the Central Institute of Traumatology & Orthopedics (CITO). Random bone mineral density testing was performedusing the portable DXL Calscan device (Demetech, Sweden) on 2854 womenwhoarenow between the ages of 15and 80 years.The device uses a patented technology of dual energy x-ray and laser (DXL) to better eliminateerrors caused by lean soft tissue and fat in DXA devices.

The Chernobyl accidentof April 1986caused radioactive contamination to the environment inmany communities in the Brjansk region of western Russia, near the Ukraine and Belarus borders.While somespecific communities within this regionwere spared from this contamination, other communities were greatly affected.The effects of the environmental damage caused in the affected communitiescontinue to be seen in theform of health problems for their inhabitants.This studyexamines the increased risk ofosteoporosis and future fragility fractures in affected areas compared to control groups.

Thesubjects from thecity of Novozybkov, a well-documented area of radioactive contamination,were compared to subjects from the city Zhukovka (also in the Brjansk region, but unaffected by contamination) and subjects from the city of Tver (northwest of Moscow and far from the contaminated area).Thesecond control groupfrom Tver was added to assure that subjects fromZhukovka were actually representative of a non-contaminated population,due toZhukovka'srelative proximity to the contaminated area. A comparison of the results from these two control groups showed no significant differences in the age-adjusted BMDvalues for womenfrom Zhukovka or Tver. The subjects from all three cities were also verified to be life-long residents of their respective cities.

Results from the age-adjusted comparisonof subjects from the non-contaminated areas to the subjects from the contaminated area weresignificantly differentand these differences were confirmed statistically as reliable(p>0.001). Logistic regression analysis showed that in women>56 years of age from the contaminated area, the decrease in bone mineral densityperyear wasalmost double that of the decrease per year from the non-contaminated areas.It was also shown that the increased risk of future osteoporosis development was mainly due to the negative influenceon subjects in attaining normalpeak bone mass formation at youngages. In fact, the largest differences in age-adjusted bone density were found in individuals who were around the age of 10 years at the time of the accident, i.e. in whom the process of peak bone mass formation proceeded during very unfavorable conditions. It is important to note that these unfavorable conditions for bone development also include significant changes in diet for inhabitants in the contaminated area due to the lack of access to affordable fresh foods locally.

In conclusion the authors state that widespread use of the DXL Calscan scanner could permit control of rates of peak bone mass formation in the young, allowing the formation of osteoporosis risk groups for outpatient observation and treatment if necessary.The aim would be to reduce the number of patients who develop osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures in the future, when thesepatients exceed the age of 50 years.

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John Elliott