The team conducted a cross-sectional study on consecutive patients with Crohn's disease (CD) to assess the prevalence and factors associated with low bone mass density (BMD).
The findings of the study were reported in the March issue of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
A total of 168 patients with CD were evaluated.
Baseline demographics, medical and surgical history, calcium intake, physical activity, steroid use, Harvey Bradshaw Index, blood and urine tests, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry were obtained.
Some 67 (40%) and 75 (45%) patients had osteopenia of the femur and spine, respectively. A further 10-11% of patients had osteoporosis.
Of the 40 patients who never used steroids, 19 (48%) had osteopenia of the femur and 12 (30%) of the spine.
The researchers found significant associations between BMD and age, body mass index, and serum magnesium.
|Possible determinants of bone loss in CD:|
- Disease activity
- Systemic inflammation
- Hormonal and genetic factors
Inflammatory Bowel Disease|
In addition, lifetime steroid use was a weaker predictor of bone loss.
Duration of disease did not correlate with BMD, when adjusted for age.
At follow-up at a mean of 2 years, BMD was found to decline in the femur but not the spine. However, those with ongoing steroid use had lower spine BMD.
Aida Habtezion, of the Division of Gastroenterology at the Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, said on behalf of fellow authors, "A significant number of patients with CD have osteopenia.
"Age was the most important predictor of bone loss."
"A significant proportion of steroid naive patients had osteopenia, which implies that mechanisms other than steroid use are also involved in bone loss in CD," it was added.
"Disease activity, systemic inflammation, and hormonal and genetic factors may all be important determinants of bone loss in CD," it was concluded.