The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the skeletal maturation assessed through cervical
vertebral maturation (CVM) and dental age, in normal weight, pre-obese and obese patients, using the Body Mass Index (BMI)
and the Dual energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA).
A group of 107 healthy patients, aged between
6 and 12 years (mean age 8.771.79), underwent anthropometric measurements, BMI calculation, and DXA exam at
the Department of Neuroscience, Human Nutrition Unit, University of Rome "Tor Vergata" and the assessment of skeletal and
dental age at the Paediatric Dentistry Unit of PTV Hospital, University of Rome "Tor Vergata". The subjects were classified as
underweight, normal weight, pre-obese and obese according to FM McCarthy cut-offs classification and BMI
classification. Statistics: The analyses were performed using the SPSS software (version 16; SPSS Inc., Chicago IL, USA). The
assessment of differences through the means of continuous variables among the different groups were analysed using the
One-Way-Anova test. The Student's t test was also applied for each group of children (using McCarthy and BMI
classifications) between chronological and skeletal-dental age; the Fisher's exact test was performed between the gender
categorical variable and McCarthy cut-offs classification, and between McCarthy and BMI classifications. Besides, to evaluate
the association between skeletal and dental age, a Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated. In all the assessments a
significant level of alpha = 0.05 was considered.
The comparison between BMI and DXA data shows statistically
significant differences between BMI- FM (McCarthy cut-offs) classifications (p0.001). According to FM
(McCarthy cut-offs) classification, from the Anova analysis among the groups a statistically significant difference between
skeletal age (p=0.03) and dental age (p=0.02) was observed, while the difference related to the chronological age (p=0.22)
among the groups, was not significant. The correlation between dental and skeletal age is almost the highest (Pearson
correlation coefficient=0.994) and statistically significant (p=0.01). According to FM
McCarthy classification, it is observed that with an increase in the FM
, that is passing from normal weight to obese children, the skeletal-dental age always increases with respect to the
chronological age. The difference between chronological and skeletal-dental age is statistically significant for pre-obese
(p=0.01) and obese (p<0.001) children, while it is not significant for underweight (p=0.46) and normal weight (p=0.33) children. According to the BMI classification, from the Anova analysis no statistically significant differences were observed among the groups as for chronological, dental and skeletal age. Applying the same inferential analyses and taking into account the BMI classification, in the obese subjects were observed not statistically significant differences as for chronological and skeletal-dental age (p=0.09).
The results highlighted a relation between skeletal-dental age
acceleration and body fat percentage measured by DXA.
Vol.13 – n.2/2012
Harvard: M. Costacurta, L. Sicuro, L. Di Renzo, R. Cond, A. De Lorenzo, R. Docimo (2012) "Childhood obesity and skeletal-dental maturity", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 13(2), pp128-132. doi:
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