Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and single-photon absorptiometry were used to determine bone density at the lumbar spine and radial shaft in 62 patients with absorptive hypercalciuria, 27 patients with fasting hypercalciuria, and 31 nonhypercalciuric stone formers. Lumbar bone density was significantly lower in patients with absorptive (-10%) as well as in those with fasting hypercalciuria (-12%), with 74 and 92% of patients displaying values below the normal mean, whereas only 48% of the nonhypercalciuric stone formers had bone density values below the normal mean. In contrast, radial bone density was similar in all three groups of renal stone formers investigated. The comparison of urinary chemistry in patients with absorptive hypercalciuria and low normal bone density compared to those with high normal bone density showed a significantly increased 24 h urinary calcium excretion on random diet and a trend toward a higher 24 h urinary uric acid excretion and a higher body mass index in patients with low normal bone density. Moreover, among the patients with absorptive hypercalciuria we found a statistically significant correlation between the spinal bone density and the 24 h sodium and sulfate excretion and the urinary pH. These results gave evidence for an additional role of environmental factors (sodium and animal proteins) in the pathogenesis of bone loss in absorptive hypercalciuria. In conclusion, our data suggest an osteopenia of trabecular-rich bone tissues in patients with fasting and absorptive hypercalciurias.