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Int J Colorectal Dis. 2006 Dec;21(8):758-66. Epub 2006 Feb 4.

Bone mineral density in Iranian patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

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Department of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Research Center for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at increased risk of developing osteopenia and osteoporosis. The aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence of decreased bone density and related risk factors in Iranian IBD patients. A total of 126 ulcerative colitis (UC) and 39 Crohn's disease (CD) patients were enrolled. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry technique was used to measure bone density, and blood samples were obtained to measure biochemical markers. To find predictive variables for bone mineral density (BMD), stepwise regression analysis was carried out. A total of 53 IBD patients (32.1%) had diminished bone mineral density at either lumbar spine (L1-L4) or femoral neck. Of these, 9 (5.4%) had osteoporosis; however, 44 (26.7%) were osteopenic. Femoral neck bone density was significantly decreased among CD patients (p<0.04). There was no significant difference in BMD between men and women. We have found significant differences in BMD T scores at lumbar L1-L4, L2-L4, and femoral neck in corticosteroid ever-users (p<0.002, p<0.001, p<0.003, respectively). There was no significant difference in biochemical markers between UC and CD patients, except that more CD patients were hypocalcemic (p<0.001). Stepwise regression analysis has revealed lumbar spine T score was predicted by age (p<0.0001), corticosteroid use (p<0.002), and body mass index (BMI) (p<0.005); however, femoral neck was predicted by age (p<0.0001), BMI (p<0.0001), smoking (p<0.009), and corticosteroid use (p<0.028). Low bone density in Iranian UC and CD patients is in accordance with Western societies. Treatment with corticosteroid has increased this possibility in both groups. Corticosteroid use, age, smoking, and BMI are predictive factors for low bone density.

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