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Thin healthy women have a similar low bone mass to women with anorexia nervosa

  • D. Fernández-García (a1) (a2), M. Rodríguez (a3), J. García Alemán (a1) (a2), J. M. García-Almeida (a1) (a2), M. J. Picón (a1) (a2), F. Fernández-Aranda (a4) and F. J. Tinahones (a1) (a2)...

Abstract

An association between anorexia nerviosa (AN) and low bone mass has been demonstrated. Bone loss associated with AN involves hormonal and nutritional impairments, though their exact contribution is not clearly established. We compared bone mass in AN patients with women of similar weight with no criteria for AN, and a third group of healthy, normal-weight, age-matched women. The study included forty-eight patients with AN, twenty-two healthy eumenorrhoeic women with low weight (LW group; BMI < 18·5 kg/m2) and twenty healthy women with BMI >18·5 kg/m2 (control group), all of similar age. We measured lean body mass, percentage fat mass, total bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density in lumbar spine (BMD LS) and in total (tBMD). We measured anthropometric parameters, leptin and growth hormone. The control group had greater tBMD and BMD LS than the other groups, with no differences between the AN and LW groups. No differences were found in tBMD, BMD LS and total BMC between the restrictive (n 25) and binge–purge type (n 23) in AN patients. In AN, minimum weight (P = 0·002) and percentage fat mass (P = 0·02) explained BMD LS variation (r2 0·48) and minimum weight (r2 0·42; P = 0·002) for tBMD in stepwise regression analyses. In the LW group, BMI explained BMD LS (r2 0·72; P = 0·01) and tBMD (r2 0·57; P = 0·04). We concluded that patients with AN had similar BMD to healthy thin women. Anthropometric parameters could contribute more significantly than oestrogen deficiency in the achievement of peak bone mass in AN patients.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Dr Diego Fernandez García, fax +34 951034016, email diegofernandezgarcia@hotmail.com

References

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Thin healthy women have a similar low bone mass to women with anorexia nervosa

  • D. Fernández-García (a1) (a2), M. Rodríguez (a3), J. García Alemán (a1) (a2), J. M. García-Almeida (a1) (a2), M. J. Picón (a1) (a2), F. Fernández-Aranda (a4) and F. J. Tinahones (a1) (a2)...

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