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Broken arms way up

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4:52pm, September 29, 2003

Adolescence is prime time for broken bones. The body is growing longer bones so fast that mineral density can't keep up. And the active lifestyles of many children lead to falls and collisions.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., report that young people are busting their forearms at a clip far exceeding that seen 30 years ago.

Three-year blocks of medical records ending in 1971 and 2001 revealed that forearm fractures rose by 42 percent in and around Rochester between those two periods, the scientists report in the Sept. 17 Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers studied people up to age 35, but the vast majority of breaks occurred in children between 10 and 16.

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