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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2002 Jun;14(6):587-9.

Can biochemical markers be used to screen patients with inflammatory bowel disease for osteoporosis?

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Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge, UK.


Reduced bone mineral density has been reported in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and recent studies indicate that there is also an increase in the relative risk of fracture. Absolute risk of fracture is, however, generally low and thus measurement of bone mineral density as a screening procedure for all patients with inflammatory bowel disease may be inappropriate. In one study, urinary excretion of N-telopeptides, which reflects whole body bone resorption, was shown to be negatively related to bone mineral density, raising the possibility that this measurement could be used to select those in whom bone densitometry is required. However, the value of this approach in predicting fracture risk remains unproven and the relative contributions of clinical risk factors, biochemical markers of bone turnover and bone mineral density measurements to fracture risk in patients with inflammatory bowel disease require further study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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