Bone mass in patients with anorexia nervosa

Evaldo dos Santos Rosane Pilot Pena Ribeiro José Ernesto dos Santos Ana Carolina Japur de Sá Rosa e Silva Marcos Felipe Silva de Sá About the authors

PURPOSE: to determine daily calcium ingestion and its correlation with bone density in patients with anorexia nervosa. PATIENTS AND METHODS: fourteen women with anorexia nervosa recorded their 24 h food ingestion in a standardized diary and were submitted to bone densitometry. Data were analyzed statistically by the c² test and the Pearson correlation, with the level of significance set at p<0.05. RESULTS: mean bone density in the lumbar spine and in the femur were 0.95 ± 0.15 and 0.88 ± 0.26, respectively. There was a significant correlation between time of amenorrhea and bone mass loss both in the lumbar spine (r=-0.65; p=0.01) and in the femur (r=-0.71; p=0.006). All patients but one presented lower calcium ingestion than the recommended dietary allowances, with a mean of 554.5 mg/day (range from 120 to 840 mg/day). Sixty-four percent of the patients presented some degree of bone mass loss (osteopenia or osteoporosis) in the spine and 57% in the femur. None of the six patients with a deficit in calcium ingestion of less than 60% presented osteoporosis; on the other hand, three of eight patients who had deficit in calcium ingestion higher than 60% presented osteoporosis. CONCLUSION: patients with anorexia nervosa had a low calcium ingestion and a significant bone mass loss, which were directly intercorrelated. Low bone density was also correlated with time of amenorrhea.

Anorexia nervosa; Bone mass; Osteoporosis

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