Bone loss associated with anorexia nervosa.Joint Bone Spine 2005; 72(6):489-95JB
The objective of this study was to evaluate the epidemiology, diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment of bone loss related to anorexia nervosa. Earlier onset and longer duration of anorexia nervosa are associated with more severe bone loss. Osteoporosis develops in 38-50% of cases. Bone mineral density measurement by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry is useful for assessing bone mass, and bone marker assays provide information on bone turnover. Bone loss in anorexia nervosa is probably multifactorial. Estrogen deficiency was long felt to be the major factor. However, in contrast to postmenopausal osteoporosis, bone loss associated with anorexia nervosa is related mainly to inadequate bone formation, with only a slight increase in bone resorption. This suggests a role for nutritional factors, such as disturbances in the growth hormone-somatomedin C axis (GH/IGF-I) related to malnutrition. The best treatment strategy for correcting bone mass in patients with anorexia nervosa is not agreed on. Resumption of menstrual cycles and weight gain seem necessary but not always sufficient. Studies found no benefits with estrogen therapy, but this was usually given as estrogen-progestin contraceptives. No vast studies evaluating hormone replacement therapy have been reported. Bone formation enhancers such as IGF-I seem to provide the best results, most notably when used in combination with estrogens. This suggests that complex treatment strategies combining bone formation enhancers and bone resorption inhibitors may deserve evaluation.