Fluoride Action Network


A case-control study was undertaken to understand the etiopathology of the bone deformities among young children in a fluoride-affected village of the Bihar State. Two villages were selected: one village with high fluoride in drinking water (7.9 +/- 4.15 ppm), and the other village with normal levels of fluoride (0.6 +/- 0.31 ppm) as the control village. The source of drinking water was bore wells in both the villages. Two hundred and forty subjects from 54 households (HHs) of the high-fluoride village (HFV) and 1443 subjects from 197 HHs of the control village were selected for the study. Dental mottling (DM) was observed in 50% and skeletal deformities of various forms were observed in 20% of the total population of HFV, whereas, in the control village, DM was 6% and skeletal deformities were absent. The prevalence of both, DM and skeletal deformities was high in the younger age group of 1.5 to 14 years. Genu valgum, genu varum, bowing of tibia, saber shin, and widening of the lower ends of long bones at the wrist were the typical skeletal deformities observed among affected children in the HFV. X-rays of the children with deformities revealed varying degrees of bending of bones and enlargement of epiphyseal ends of metaphyses with fraying of bone and ligamental calcification. A survey indicated significantly low calcium and high phosphorus intake among the population of the HFV as compared to that of the control village, possibly resulting from low intake of milk and high intake of potatoes, respectively. The mean urinary fluoride level was significantly higher in the children of the HPV, both with and without deformities, as compared to that of the control village. The mean serum 25 OHD3 (25 Hydroxy Vitamin D) and calcium levels were significantly lower and alkaline phosphatase activity was significantly higher among the children with deformities as compared to those without deformities from the HFV and the control village. Serum intact parathyroid hormone (IPTH) levels were high in children both with and without deformities in the HFV as compared to those in the control village. No significant differences were observed in the concentration of serum and urinary creatinine, and Cu, and Mg levels between the HFV and the control village. It can be concluded that some of the children from the HFV manifested severe bone deformities (rickets), which were confirmed by the existence of low serum calcium and vitamin D levels.