Osteoporosis in a north american adult population with celiac disease

Am J Gastroenterol. 2001 Jan;96(1):112-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2001.03507.x.


Objective: Osteoporosis, common in European and South American adults with celiac disease, has not been reported in those patients with celiac disease residing in North America. We therefore evaluated bone density in a group of patients from the United States.

Methods: Patients (105 women and 23 men) with celiac disease, who had completed a questionnaire and had bone mineral density (BMD) measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, were evaluated. The patients were an average age of 56 yr old (range 21-83 yr) and had been on a gluten-free diet from 0 months to 46 yr (mean 7.5 yr).

Results: Osteoporosis (T score < -2.5) was present in 34% of the patients at the lumbar spine, 27% at the femoral neck, and 36% at the radius. Low bone mass (T score between -1.0 and -2.5) was present in 38% at the lumbar spine, 44% at the femoral neck, and 32% at the radius. When compared to age-matched controls, men were more severely affected than women. BMD did not differ between those on a gluten-free diet and those who had not begun therapy. BMD was remeasured 16 +/- 2 months after beginning a gluten-free diet in 5 patients; it increased by 7.5% at the femoral neck (p < 0.02). In 16 patients who had followed a gluten-free diet for an average of 12 yr, BMD remained stable over an additional 2 yr of observation.

Conclusions: Osteoporosis and low bone mass often affect North American adults with celiac disease, whether or not they are on dietary therapy. Routine screening for osteoporosis is indicated in patients with celiac disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Density
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis
  • Celiac Disease / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North America / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires