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J Crohns Colitis. 2008 Sep;2(3):202-7. doi: 10.1016/j.crohns.2008.01.005. Epub 2008 Feb 14.

Osteoporosis in inflammatory bowel disease.

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  • 1Department of Medicine I, Klinikum Braunschweig, Germany.


Half of all patients with inflammatory bowel disease show a significant reduction of their bone mass during the course of their chronic inflammatory disease. In contrast to women with postmenopausal osteoporosis these patients are much younger and a significant subgroup develops vertebral fractures which are mostly asymptomatic. The activity of the chronic inflammatory disease and the steroid treatment leads to bone loss predominantly through the TNF╬▒-driven osteoprotegerin system. Clinical useful genetic markers to identify patients at risk for fractures have not been developed so far. Long-term clinical remission leads in most patients to normalisation of the bone density. Patients with reduced bone density should be substituted with calcium and vitamin D. Patients with vertebral fractures should receive bisphosphonates.

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