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Indian J Gastroenterol. 2008 May-Jun;27(3):103-6.

Evaluation of bone mineral density among patients with inflammatory bowel disease in a tertiary care setting in India.

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Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have low bone mineral density (BMD). Dietary calcium is important for them in the prevention of osteopenia and osteoporosis. There are no reports on the status of BMD in Indian patients with IBD.


Dietary calcium intake and cumulative steroid and immunosuppressive drug use was noted in 46 randomly selected patients (mean [SD] age 40.5 [14.7] years; 28 men) with IBD (ulcerative colitis 22, Crohn's disease 24). To compare values of BMD for patients, data from 46 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (age 40.5 [14.6] years; 28 men) were selected from an existing database of healthy Indian volunteers whose BMD had been measured in a community-based survey carried out among people residing in Delhi (unpublished data). BMD was measured using DXA (Hologic QDR 4500). Osteopenia and osteoporosis were defined as per the standard WHO criteria.


The mean duration of disease was 87.7 (78.3) months. The mean calcium intake by 41 patients (89.1%) was <200 mg/day, by 2 patients (4.3%) 200-400 mg/day and by 3 patients (6.4%)>400 mg/day. Significantly lower values of BMD at the spine and hip regions were seen in patients with both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease as compared with Indian healthy controls. In comparison to age- and sex-matched healthy controls, 29 (63%) and 21 (45.6%) patients had either osteopenia or osteoporosis at the spine and hip region, respectively. Of them, 4 and 7 patients had osteoporosis at the spine and hip region, respectively. There was no correlation between values of BMD and the age of patient, duration of disease, and cumulative steroid dose.


Two thirds of Indian patients with IBD have low BMD. Since the intake of dietary calcium is inadequate in a majority of these patients, they should be advised to increase the intake of dairy products.

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