Is osteoporosis risk in anorexia nervosa underestimated? A case report series


Introduction: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a mental disorder whose features are deliberate weight loss, disordered body image, and intrusive overvalued fears of gaining weight. Long-term consequences of AN include endocrine dysfunctions leading to secondary amenorrhea, bone loss and/or osteoporosis with an increased risk of bone fracture. Therefore young women with AN may develop a risk for bone fractures comparable to that of postmenopausal women. Methods: In this case report series Bone Mineral Density (BMD) was examined by Dual energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) in 19 hospitalized patients with diagnosis of AN and prolonged amenorrhea. Results: All patients showed a lumbar/femoral bone loss or osteoporosis, with an increased fracture risk comparable to that of postmenopausal women. Conclusions: Our observation suggests that DXA evaluation of anorexic patients with prolonged amenorrhea would be helpful to prevent fracture risk in this population of patients. However, although DXA is almost routinely recommended in women over 65, it is not in young AN patients with prolonged amenorrhea.

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Pacciardi, B. , Cargioli, C. , Belli, S. , Cotugno, B. , Augusto, S. , Di Paolo, L. and Mauri, M. (2013) Is osteoporosis risk in anorexia nervosa underestimated? A case report series. Open Journal of Internal Medicine, 3, 115-118. doi: 10.4236/ojim.2013.34025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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