Anorexia Changes Bone Structure
November 18, 2008
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- New research shows children and teenagers with even mild anorexia can develop abnormal bone structure before they lose bone density.
Traditionally, an imaging technique called dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is used to measure bone mineral density in adolescents with anorexia. In this study, researchers assessed bone structure using high-resolution computed tomography (CT) as well as bone mineral density using DXA. They compared the scans of adolescent girls with anorexia and others without. No differences were observed in bone mineral density, but the CT exam showed significant differences in bone structure between the two groups.
These findings indicate that changes in bone structure occur in anorexic adolescents before decreases in bone density.
“Our data suggest that reassuring values of bone mineral density obtained using DXA may not reflect the true status of bone structure in this undernourished population,” Miriam A. Bredella, M.D., musculoskeletal radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass., was quoted as saying.
Anorexia primarily occurs among young women and affects one in 100 adolescent girls, according to the National Women’s Health Information Center.
SOURCE: Presented at the Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting, Nov. 30-Dec. 5, Chicago, Ill.
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