[Osteoporosis in inflammatory bowel disease - results of a survey among members of the German Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis Association].Z Gastroenterol. 2003 Dec; 41(12):1145-50.ZG
Osteoporosis is a frequent and clinically important complication in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Prevalence and risk factors have been examined in small numbers of patients. With a nationwide survey of members of the German Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis Association (DCCV) we wanted to evaluate the situation in a larger group of patients.
Questionnaires were sent with the autumn issue of the members journal to approx. 14,620 affected members of the DCCV. Items covered osteoporosis, clinical symptoms, anamnesis and sociodemographic topics. Results are presented as descriptive analysis and in a logistic regression analysis of factors contributing to the osteoporosis risk.
2,536 questionnaires could be used (17.3 %). Mean age and distribution concerning diagnosis and gender were comparable to the DCCV members in total. The prevalence of pathologic bone density was 62.3 % in those 1,265 patients (50.1 %) who underwent bone densitometry in the course of their disease. The analysis led to the following possible risk factors: disease activity (high chronic activity or more than 1 acute flare annually vs. remission, p < 0.001), lifetime steroid dosage > 10 g (p = 0.002), Crohn's disease vs. ulcerative colitis (p = 0.02), multiple bowel resection (p = 0.032), age (p = 0.018) and low body mass index (p = 0.034). 83.4 % of the patients with pathologic bone density received specific therapy, but most of those (63.5 %) were solely substituted with calcium and vitamin D.
This is the first study looking at epidemiology and risk factors of osteoporosis in a large study population of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Although the prevalence may be overestimated due to selection bias in our study, osteoporosis is confirmed as a frequent and clinically relevant complication in IBD. Bone densitometry is recommended in those patients with one or more risk factors.