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J Pediatr. 2002 Jul;141(1):64-70.

Physiologic regulators of bone turnover in young women with anorexia nervosa.

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Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.



To clarify the role of physiologic regulators of bone turnover in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN).


Adolescent girls with AN (n = 61) had anthropometric, nutrition, and exercise data acquired, and bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Serum samples were obtained for hormones, proresorptive cytokines, and bone formation markers, and urine for bone resorption markers.


In bivariate correlation analyses, significant (P <.05) predictors of lumbar BMD included height, weight, and exercise. In multiple regression models, these significant relationships held, even after controlling for the duration of amenorrhea and AN. For total body BMD, the same positive predictors were found and percentage of body fat was a negative correlate. For hip BMD, exercise and weight were found to be positive predictors. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) was inversely correlated with N-telopeptides (NTx), and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) was directly correlated with osteocalcin. Proresorptive cytokine levels were low or undetectable.


Exercise and weight were positive predictors of BMD. These data are the first to suggest a relationship between DHEAS and increased bone resorption in AN. IGF-I was correlated with bone formation indices. Low cytokine levels suggest that these factors do not mediate the increased bone resorption of AN.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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