Bone mineral density in adolescent females with recently diagnosed anorexia nervosa

Int J Eat Disord. 2001 Jan;29(1):11-6. doi: 10.1002/1098-108x(200101)29:1<11::aid-eat2>;2-b.


Anorexia nervosa (AN) can lead to osteoporosis and fractures.

Objective: This study evaluated adolescent females with AN diagnosed within the previous 12 months to determine whether there is bone mass reduction and to investigate relationships between nutritional indices (weight, body mass index [BMI], lean mass, fat mass, and percentage fat) and total body (TB) and lumbar spine (LS) bone mineral densities (BMD) and content (BMC).

Method: TB and LS BMD and BMC and body composition were measured in 24 adolescent females with AN.

Results: There was no significant reduction in TB or LS BMD. Regression analysis shows significant correlation (p < 0.001) between lean mass and TB BMD (r = +0.83), TB BMC (r = +0.92), LS BMD (r = +0.81), and LS BMC (r = +0.92). There was also a significant relationship between weight percentile and LS BMD z score (p < 0.005; r = +0.60).

Discussion: Adolescent females with early AN do not appear to have reduced bone mass. Lean mass is correlated to BMD and BMC.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / physiopathology
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Bone Density* / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis / physiopathology
  • Reference Values