An investigation into the determinants of scoliosis induction and progression, and its impact on older children, using a large prospective population-based cohort

Summary: The aims of this study are:

  • To investigate the risk factors for the presence of scoliosis at aged 17 focussing on anthropometry and muscle and bone parameters

  • To investigate prognostic markers that predict scoliosis progression

  • To investigate the impact of scoliosis including lung function

  • Validation of DXA as a tool for monitoring scoliosis

The project team envisage that the investigation will provide high quality in-depth clinical indicators for the presence of scoliosis at aged 17 years. In addition it is hoped it will provide unique data on the impact of scoliosis in the older paediatric community. The finding of novel epidemiological risk factors may then lead to new management techniques, and the discovery of good prognostic markers for the progression of scoliosis may help decisions about timing of surgery or other interventions. This may allow better planning of healthcare utilisation and resource allocation. Finding evidence for the use of DXA as an alternative monitoring tool to the traditional spinal radiographs could be extremely valuable, particularly in allowing much reduced radiation exposure to the paediatric population.

In the future the team intend to focus more closely on potential genetic determinants of both scoliosis induction and progression (genome wide data is available on 1700 children from the ALSPAC cohort, with a further 1000 in the pipeline), but wish to obtain in-depth clinical indicators of risk and accurate phenotyping funded by the British Scoliosis Research Foundation first


Identifying Scoliosis in Population-Based Cohorts: Development and Validation of a Novel Method Based on Total-Body Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometric Scans. Hilary J. Taylor, Ian Harding, John Hutchinson, Ian Nelson, Ashley Blom, Jon H. Tobias, Emma M. Clark. Calcified Tissue International, June 2013, Volume 92, Issue 6, pp 539-547
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Association Between Components of Body Composition and Scoliosis: A Prospective Cohort Study Reporting Differences Identifiable Before the Onset of Scoliosis. Clark EMTaylor HJHarding IHutchinson JNelson IDeanfield JNess ARTobias JHJ Bone Miner Res. 2014 Feb 24. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.2207.
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