A high prevalence of bone loss is observed in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Leptin, ghrelin, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, and IGF binding protein (IGFBP)-3 have been suggested to interfere in the bone metabolism. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of these peptides in the development of osteoporosis in IBD.
One hundred and eighteen consecutive IBD patients were included. All patients underwent bone densitometry by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry at the femoral neck and lumbar spine levels. Serum samples were collected from all patients and analyzed for concentrations of the aforementioned peptides by radioimmunoassay.
Forty (33.9%) patients were normal, 55 (46.6%) were osteopenic, and 23 (19.5%) were osteoporotic. Positive statistically significant correlations were found between body mass index (BMI), leptin, IGFBP-3 levels, and the bone mineral density (BMD) of the femoral neck and lumbar spine. Moreover, an inverse statistically significant correlation was found between BMD of the femoral neck and the lumbar spine, and age, duration of the disease, and ghrelin levels. Multivariate analysis revealed that the most significant factors associated with the BMD were age and BMI. A weak but statistically significant correlation was found between IGFBP-3 and femoral neck BMD (P=0.045) and between ghrelin and spine BMD (P=0.039). No correlation was observed between leptin and BMD.
Low BMI is the most important independent risk factor for osteoporosis in IBD patients. There is no independent influence of leptin but ghrelin and IGFBP-3 may play a role in the bone metabolism in the IBD.