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Osteoporos Int. 2007 Oct;18(10):1345-53. Epub 2007 Jul 31.

Fragility fractures and bone mineral density in HIV positive women: a case-control population-based study.

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Medicine/Endocrinology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


This Canadian study of bone health showed that HIV+ women were more likely to have had fragility fractures (OR 1.7) but had BMD values that were not different than women from a national population-based cohort.


Given that 17.5 million women globally are HIV-infected and living longer on anti-retroviral therapy (ART+), it is essential to determine whether they are at risk for osteoporosis as is currently assumed.


Assessment of osteoporosis risk factors and lifetime low-trauma (fragility) fracture history used a common interviewer-administered questionnaire and phantom-adjusted bone mineral density (BMD). This study compared HIV+ Canadian women with age- and region-matched control women (1:3) from a national population-based study of osteoporosis.


One hundred and thirty-eight HIV+ women (100 ART+, 38 ART-) were compared with 402 controls. There were no differences in age (37.7 vs. 38.0 years), BMI (25.0 vs. 26.2), family history of osteoporosis, exercise history, alcohol or calcium intakes, age at menarche, oral contraceptive use or parity. HIV+ cases included more Aboriginal and Black women (12.5% and 16.2 vs. 2% and 1%, respectively), smoked and used injection drugs (53%) more, were more often treated with glucocorticoids, had oligomenorrhea, and reported 10-kg weight cycling. Significantly more HIV+ women reported lifetime fragility fractures (26.1% vs. 17.3; OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1, 2.6). HIV+ and control women did not differ in BMD: spine 1.0 +/- 0.12 vs.1.0 +/- 0.14 g/cm(2) (diff. 0.0, 95% CI -0.27, 0.27) or total femur 0.91 +/- 0.15 vs. 0.93 +/- 0.12 g/cm(2) (diff 0.02, 95% CI +0.005, -0.045).


HIV+ women reported significantly more past osteoporotic fractures than population-based controls despite normal BMD. Research is needed to assess bone microarchitecture and develop a reliable fracture risk assessment tool for HIV+ women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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