HEALTH EFFECTS: Skeletal Fluorosis

DIRECTORY: FAN > Health > Bone > Fluorosis > Index

Summation - Skeletal Fluorosis: (Click for more detail)

Excessive exposure to fluoride causes an arthritic bone disease called skeletal fluorosis. According to UNICEF, skeletal fluorosis is endemic in at least 25 countries, with millions of people impacted.

Skeletal fluorosis, especially in its early stages, is a difficult disease to diagnose, and can be readily confused with various forms of arthritis including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

In the advanced stages, fluorosis can resemble a multitude of bone/joint diseases, including: osteosclerosis, renal osteodystrophy, DISH, spondylosis, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, and secondary hyperparathyroidism.

The risk of developing fluorosis, and the course the disease will take, is influenced by the presence of ceratin predisposing factors, including impaired kidney function; dietary deficiencies; gastric acidity; and repetitive stress.

In individuals with kidney disease, fluoride exposure can contribute to, and/or exacerbate, renal osteodystrophy.

While only a limited number of studies have documented the disease in the U.S., it is almost certain that cases of the disease have occurred but escaped detection.

'The Dose Factor' - Skeletal Fluorosis: (Click for more detail)

The minimum daily doses capable of producing the various stages of fluorosis are still poorly understood.

In India and China, skeletal fluorosis has repeatedly been documented in field surveys among communities with 1.0 to 1.5 ppm fluoride in water. In the U.S., there has been extremely little systematic research to assess the prevalence of fluorosis. Case reports, however, have documented fluorosis among susceptible individuals drinking water with as little as 1.7 ppm.

Research Gaps - Skeletal Fluorosis:

1) No systematic research exploring the incidence of skeletal fluorosis among susceptible subsets of the population including heavy tea-drinkers and people with kidney disease.

2) Other than small, limited studies from the 1950s-1960s (Steinberg 1955, 1958; Ansell 1965), no research exploring the relationship between fluoride exposure and arthritis in the west.

3) No comprehensive research exploring the doses of fluoride capable of producing the early stages of skeletal fluorosis, and how such doses vary based on the presence or absence of predisposing factors.

4) No research exploring how genetics may influence the risk and nature of skeletal fluorosis in the general population.

CONTENTS of DATABASE - Skeletal Fluorosis:

Data Compilation:

Full-text, or Excerpted Papers, of Papers:

Johnson W, et al. (1979). Fluoridation and bone disease in renal patients. In: E Johansen, DR Taves, TO Olsen, Eds. Continuing Evaluation of the Use of Fluorides. AAAS Selected Symposium. Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado. pp. 275-293.

Cook HA. (1971). Fluoride studies in a patient with arthritis. The Lancet 1: 817.

Teotia SPS, et al. (1976). Symposium on the non-skeletal phase of chronic fluorosis: The joints. Fluoride 9: 19-24.















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