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Are patterns of bone loss in anorexic and postmenopausal women similar? Preliminary results using high resolution peripheral computed tomography.
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Publication types: Journal ArticlePublication Status: ppublish
This study intended to compare bone density and architecture in three groups of women: young women with anorexia nervosa (AN), an age-matched control group of young women, and healthy late postmenopausal women. Three-dimensional peripheral quantitative high resolution computed-tomography (HR-pQCT) at the ultradistal radius, a technology providing measures of cortical and trabecular bone density and microarchitecture, was performed in the three cohorts. Thirty-six women with AN aged 18-30years (mean duration of AN: 5.8years), 83 healthy late postmenopausal women aged 70-81 as well as 30 age-matched healthy young women were assessed. The overall cortical and trabecular bone density (D100), the absolute thickness of the cortical bone (CTh), and the absolute number of trabecules per area (TbN) were significantly lower in AN patients compared with healthy young women. The absolute number of trabecules per area (TbN) in AN and postmenopausal women was similar, but significantly lower than in healthy young women. The comparison between AN patients and post-menopausal women is of interest because the latter reach bone peak mass around the middle of the fertile age span whereas the former usually lose bone before reaching optimal bone density and structure. This study shows that bone mineral density and bone compacta thickness in AN are lower than those in controls but still higher than those in postmenopause. Bone compacta density in AN is similar as in controls. However, bone inner structure in AN is degraded to a similar extent as in postmenopause. This last finding is particularly troubling.
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