Dr John Newton and colleagues examined whether osteoporosis occurs more commonly in PBC patients than in normal individuals matched for age and sex.
All 272 patients in the study had at least one bone mineral density (BMD) measurement, during a mean of 10.1 years of follow-up.
Bone mineral density measurements were taken at the neck of femur and lumbar spine
|PBC often presents for the first time over the age of 65.
Only 18 of the patients had significantly lower BMD than would be predicted for their age and sex.
The study, published in the latest issue of Gut, found that there was no significant difference between the mean values for BMD measurements in PBC patients and those expected for an age and sex matched "normal" population.
Dr Newton concludes, "Osteoporosis was no more prevalent in this large population of PBC patients than would have been expected in a normal population of comparable age and sex."
Previous studies addressing the question of osteoporosis in PBC have drawn different conclusions. Dr Newton suggests that this may be due to smaller sample sizes, typically of less than 50, in earlier studies.
Dr Newton also emphasizes the importance of age matching, because both PBC and osteoporosis are more common in older people.