Context: We have reported lower hip bone mineral density (BMD) in adolescent boys with anorexia nervosa (AN) compared with controls. Although studies have described bone structure in girls with AN, these data are not available for boys. Hip structural analysis (HSA) using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry is a validated technique to assess hip geometry and strength while avoiding radiation associated with quantitative computed tomography.
Objective: We hypothesized that boys with AN would have impaired hip structure/strength (assessed by HSA) compared with controls.
Design and setting: We conducted a cross-sectional study at a clinical research center.
Subjects and intervention: We used HSA techniques on hip dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scans in 31 previously enrolled boys, 15 with AN and 16 normal-weight controls, 12 to 19 years old.
Results: AN boys had lower body mass index SD score (P < .0001), testosterone (P = .0005), and estradiol (P = .006) than controls. A larger proportion of AN boys had BMD Z-scores <-1 at the femoral neck (60% vs 12.5%, P = 0008). Using HSA, at the narrow neck and trochanter region, boys with AN had lower cross-sectional area (P = .03, 0.02) and cortical thickness (P = .02, 0.03). Buckling ratio at the trochanter region was higher in AN (P = .008). After controlling for age and height, subperiosteal width at the femoral shaft, cross-sectional moment of inertia (narrow neck and femoral shaft), and section modulus (all sites) were lower in AN. The strongest associations of HSA measures were observed with lean mass, testosterone, and estradiol. On multivariate analysis, lean mass remained associated with most HSA measures.
Conclusions: Boys with AN have impaired hip geometric parameters, associated with lower lean mass.