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1.  Bone density in transfusion dependent thalassemia patients in Urmia, Iran 
Patients with thalassemia major and intermedia are susceptible to osteopenia and osteoporosis. The mechanism of osteoporosis in these patients is multifactorial. Transfusion related iron overload in endocrine organs leads to impaired growth hormone secretion, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, lack of sex steroids and vitamin D deficiency that contribute to impairment in achieving an adequate bone mass .The aim of this study was assessment of frequency of bone loss in patients with thalassemia major and intermedia in Urmia City of West Azerbaijan, Iran
Materials and Methods
In this cross sectional descriptive study,10 patients (lower than 18 y/o)with transfusion dependent thalassemia attending to Motahari and Emam Khomeini hospitals in Urmia city of Iran were enrolled and scanned for Bone Mineral Density (BMD) starting at around 10 years old.
Tenatients (6 male and 4 female) with transfusion dependent thalassemia (β-thalassemia major and intermedia) aged 13to 17 years in Urmia city of Iran were enrolled. Mean age of patients was 15.1±.37year old. Among them, 8 patients (80%)had low BMD and2 of them (20%) had normal BMD in lumbar spine. Only 30% of patients had low BMD in the neck of femur.
We should perform annual BMD in patients with thalassemia major and intermedia and hemoglobin H disease in age of higher than 8 year old and treat low BMD with administration of bisphosphonate, calcium and vitamin D supplements. Medical consultation with a rheumatologist and /or an endocrinologist should be performed in these patients. Changing lifestyle with mild daily exercise, adequate calcium containing foods, avoiding heavy activities, stop smoking, iron chelation therapy in adequate dosage, early diagnosis and treatment of endocrine insufficiency and regular blood transfusions can help to achieve an optimal bone density in these patients.
PMCID: PMC4083203  PMID: 25002928
Thalassemia; Bone mineral density; Osteoporosis; Bone Loss
2.  Utilization of DXA Bone Mineral Densitometry in Ontario 
Executive Summary
Systematic reviews and analyses of administrative data were performed to determine the appropriate use of bone mineral density (BMD) assessments using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and the associated trends in wrist and hip fractures in Ontario.
Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry Bone Mineral Density Assessment
Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry bone densitometers measure bone density based on differential absorption of 2 x-ray beams by bone and soft tissues. It is the gold standard for detecting and diagnosing osteoporosis, a systemic disease characterized by low bone density and altered bone structure, resulting in low bone strength and increased risk of fractures. The test is fast (approximately 10 minutes) and accurate (exceeds 90% at the hip), with low radiation (1/3 to 1/5 of that from a chest x-ray). DXA densitometers are licensed as Class 3 medical devices in Canada. The World Health Organization has established criteria for osteoporosis and osteopenia based on DXA BMD measurements: osteoporosis is defined as a BMD that is >2.5 standard deviations below the mean BMD for normal young adults (i.e. T-score <–2.5), while osteopenia is defined as BMD that is more than 1 standard deviation but less than 2.5 standard deviation below the mean for normal young adults (i.e. T-score< –1 & ≥–2.5). DXA densitometry is presently an insured health service in Ontario.
Clinical Need
Burden of Disease
The Canadian Multicenter Osteoporosis Study (CaMos) found that 16% of Canadian women and 6.6% of Canadian men have osteoporosis based on the WHO criteria, with prevalence increasing with age. Osteopenia was found in 49.6% of Canadian women and 39% of Canadian men. In Ontario, it is estimated that nearly 530,000 Ontarians have some degrees of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis-related fragility fractures occur most often in the wrist, femur and pelvis. These fractures, particularly those in the hip, are associated with increased mortality, and decreased functional capacity and quality of life. A Canadian study showed that at 1 year after a hip fracture, the mortality rate was 20%. Another 20% required institutional care, 40% were unable to walk independently, and there was lower health-related quality of life due to attributes such as pain, decreased mobility and decreased ability to self-care. The cost of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures in Canada was estimated to be $1.3 billion in 1993.
Guidelines for Bone Mineral Density Testing
With 2 exceptions, almost all guidelines address only women. None of the guidelines recommend blanket population-based BMD testing. Instead, all guidelines recommend BMD testing in people at risk of osteoporosis, predominantly women aged 65 years or older. For women under 65 years of age, BMD testing is recommended only if one major or two minor risk factors for osteoporosis exist. Osteoporosis Canada did not restrict its recommendations to women, and thus their guidelines apply to both sexes. Major risk factors are age greater than or equal to 65 years, a history of previous fractures, family history (especially parental history) of fracture, and medication or disease conditions that affect bone metabolism (such as long-term glucocorticoid therapy). Minor risk factors include low body mass index, low calcium intake, alcohol consumption, and smoking.
Current Funding for Bone Mineral Density Testing
The Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) Schedule presently reimburses DXA BMD at the hip and spine. Measurements at both sites are required if feasible. Patients at low risk of accelerated bone loss are limited to one BMD test within any 24-month period, but there are no restrictions on people at high risk. The total fee including the professional and technical components for a test involving 2 or more sites is $106.00 (Cdn).
Method of Review
This review consisted of 2 parts. The first part was an analysis of Ontario administrative data relating to DXA BMD, wrist and hip fractures, and use of antiresorptive drugs in people aged 65 years and older. The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences extracted data from the OHIP claims database, the Canadian Institute for Health Information hospital discharge abstract database, the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System, and the Ontario Drug Benefit database using OHIP and ICD-10 codes. The data was analyzed to examine the trends in DXA BMD use from 1992 to 2005, and to identify areas requiring improvement.
The second part included systematic reviews and analyses of evidence relating to issues identified in the analyses of utilization data. Altogether, 8 reviews and qualitative syntheses were performed, consisting of 28 published systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses, 34 randomized controlled trials, and 63 observational studies.
Findings of Utilization Analysis
Analysis of administrative data showed a 10-fold increase in the number of BMD tests in Ontario between 1993 and 2005.
OHIP claims for BMD tests are presently increasing at a rate of 6 to 7% per year. Approximately 500,000 tests were performed in 2005/06 with an age-adjusted rate of 8,600 tests per 100,000 population.
Women accounted for 90 % of all BMD tests performed in the province.
In 2005/06, there was a 2-fold variation in the rate of DXA BMD tests across local integrated health networks, but a 10-fold variation between the county with the highest rate (Toronto) and that with the lowest rate (Kenora). The analysis also showed that:
With the increased use of BMD, there was a concomitant increase in the use of antiresorptive drugs (as shown in people 65 years and older) and a decrease in the rate of hip fractures in people age 50 years and older.
Repeat BMD made up approximately 41% of all tests. Most of the people (>90%) who had annual BMD tests in a 2-year or 3-year period were coded as being at high risk for osteoporosis.
18% (20,865) of the people who had a repeat BMD within a 24-month period and 34% (98,058) of the people who had one BMD test in a 3-year period were under 65 years, had no fracture in the year, and coded as low-risk.
Only 19% of people age greater than 65 years underwent BMD testing and 41% received osteoporosis treatment during the year following a fracture.
Men accounted for 24% of all hip fractures and 21 % of all wrist fractures, but only 10% of BMD tests. The rates of BMD tests and treatment in men after a fracture were only half of those in women.
In both men and women, the rate of hip and wrist fractures mainly increased after age 65 with the sharpest increase occurring after age 80 years.
Findings of Systematic Review and Analysis
Serial Bone Mineral Density Testing for People Not Receiving Osteoporosis Treatment
A systematic review showed that the mean rate of bone loss in people not receiving osteoporosis treatment (including postmenopausal women) is generally less than 1% per year. Higher rates of bone loss were reported for people with disease conditions or on medications that affect bone metabolism. In order to be considered a genuine biological change, the change in BMD between serial measurements must exceed the least significant change (variability) of the testing, ranging from 2.77% to 8% for precisions ranging from 1% to 3% respectively. Progression in BMD was analyzed, using different rates of baseline BMD values, rates of bone loss, precision, and BMD value for initiating treatment. The analyses showed that serial BMD measurements every 24 months (as per OHIP policy for low-risk individuals) is not necessary for people with no major risk factors for osteoporosis, provided that the baseline BMD is normal (T-score ≥ –1), and the rate of bone loss is less than or equal to 1% per year. The analyses showed that for someone with a normal baseline BMD and a rate of bone loss of less than 1% per year, the change in BMD is not likely to exceed least significant change (even for a 1% precision) in less than 3 years after the baseline test, and is not likely to drop to a BMD level that requires initiation of treatment in less than 16 years after the baseline test.
Serial Bone Mineral Density Testing in People Receiving Osteoporosis Therapy
Seven published meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 2 recent RCTs on BMD monitoring during osteoporosis therapy showed that although higher increases in BMD were generally associated with reduced risk of fracture, the change in BMD only explained a small percentage of the fracture risk reduction.
Studies showed that some people with small or no increase in BMD during treatment experienced significant fracture risk reduction, indicating that other factors such as improved bone microarchitecture might have contributed to fracture risk reduction.
There is conflicting evidence relating to the role of BMD testing in improving patient compliance with osteoporosis therapy.
Even though BMD may not be a perfect surrogate for reduction in fracture risk when monitoring responses to osteoporosis therapy, experts advised that it is still the only reliable test available for this purpose.
A systematic review conducted by the Medical Advisory Secretariat showed that the magnitude of increases in BMD during osteoporosis drug therapy varied among medications. Although most of the studies yielded mean percentage increases in BMD from baseline that did not exceed the least significant change for a 2% precision after 1 year of treatment, there were some exceptions.
Bone Mineral Density Testing and Treatment After a Fragility Fracture
A review of 3 published pooled analyses of observational studies and 12 prospective population-based observational studies showed that the presence of any prevalent fracture increases the relative risk for future fractures by approximately 2-fold or more. A review of 10 systematic reviews of RCTs and 3 additional RCTs showed that therapy with antiresorptive drugs significantly reduced the risk of vertebral fractures by 40 to 50% in postmenopausal osteoporotic women and osteoporotic men, and 2 antiresorptive drugs also reduced the risk of nonvertebral fractures by 30 to 50%. Evidence from observational studies in Canada and other jurisdictions suggests that patients who had undergone BMD measurements, particularly if a diagnosis of osteoporosis is made, were more likely to be given pharmacologic bone-sparing therapy. Despite these findings, the rate of BMD investigation and osteoporosis treatment after a fracture remained low (<20%) in Ontario as well as in other jurisdictions.
Bone Mineral Density Testing in Men
There are presently no specific Canadian guidelines for BMD screening in men. A review of the literature suggests that risk factors for fracture and the rate of vertebral deformity are similar for men and women, but the mortality rate after a hip fracture is higher in men compared with women. Two bisphosphonates had been shown to reduce the risk of vertebral and hip fractures in men. However, BMD testing and osteoporosis treatment were proportionately low in Ontario men in general, and particularly after a fracture, even though men accounted for 25% of the hip and wrist fractures. The Ontario data also showed that the rates of wrist fracture and hip fracture in men rose sharply in the 75- to 80-year age group.
Ontario-Based Economic Analysis
The economic analysis focused on analyzing the economic impact of decreasing future hip fractures by increasing the rate of BMD testing in men and women age greater than or equal to 65 years following a hip or wrist fracture. A decision analysis showed the above strategy, especially when enhanced by improved reporting of BMD tests, to be cost-effective, resulting in a cost-effectiveness ratio ranging from $2,285 (Cdn) per fracture avoided (worst-case scenario) to $1,981 (Cdn) per fracture avoided (best-case scenario). A budget impact analysis estimated that shifting utilization of BMD testing from the low risk population to high risk populations within Ontario would result in a saving of $0.85 million to $1.5 million (Cdn) to the health system. The potential net saving was estimated at $1.2 million to $5 million (Cdn) when the downstream cost-avoidance due to prevention of future hip fractures was factored into the analysis.
Other Factors for Consideration
There is a lack of standardization for BMD testing in Ontario. Two different standards are presently being used and experts suggest that variability in results from different facilities may lead to unnecessary testing. There is also no requirement for standardized equipment, procedure or reporting format. The current reimbursement policy for BMD testing encourages serial testing in people at low risk of accelerated bone loss. This review showed that biannual testing is not necessary for all cases. The lack of a database to collect clinical data on BMD testing makes it difficult to evaluate the clinical profiles of patients tested and outcomes of the BMD tests. There are ministry initiatives in progress under the Osteoporosis Program to address the development of a mandatory standardized requisition form for BMD tests to facilitate data collection and clinical decision-making. Work is also underway for developing guidelines for BMD testing in men and in perimenopausal women.
Increased use of BMD in Ontario since 1996 appears to be associated with increased use of antiresorptive medication and a decrease in hip and wrist fractures.
Data suggest that as many as 20% (98,000) of the DXA BMD tests in Ontario in 2005/06 were performed in people aged less than 65 years, with no fracture in the current year, and coded as being at low risk for accelerated bone loss; this is not consistent with current guidelines. Even though some of these people might have been incorrectly coded as low-risk, the number of tests in people truly at low risk could still be substantial.
Approximately 4% (21,000) of the DXA BMD tests in 2005/06 were repeat BMDs in low-risk individuals within a 24-month period. Even though this is in compliance with current OHIP reimbursement policies, evidence showed that biannual serial BMD testing is not necessary in individuals without major risk factors for fractures, provided that the baseline BMD is normal (T-score < –1). In this population, BMD measurements may be repeated in 3 to 5 years after the baseline test to establish the rate of bone loss, and further serial BMD tests may not be necessary for another 7 to 10 years if the rate of bone loss is no more than 1% per year. Precision of the test needs to be considered when interpreting serial BMD results.
Although changes in BMD may not be the perfect surrogate for reduction in fracture risk as a measure of response to osteoporosis treatment, experts advised that it is presently the only reliable test for monitoring response to treatment and to help motivate patients to continue treatment. Patients should not discontinue treatment if there is no increase in BMD after the first year of treatment. Lack of response or bone loss during treatment should prompt the physician to examine whether the patient is taking the medication appropriately.
Men and women who have had a fragility fracture at the hip, spine, wrist or shoulder are at increased risk of having a future fracture, but this population is presently under investigated and under treated. Additional efforts have to be made to communicate to physicians (particularly orthopaedic surgeons and family physicians) and the public about the need for a BMD test after fracture, and for initiating treatment if low BMD is found.
Men had a disproportionately low rate of BMD tests and osteoporosis treatment, especially after a fracture. Evidence and fracture data showed that the risk of hip and wrist fractures in men rises sharply at age 70 years.
Some counties had BMD utilization rates that were only 10% of that of the county with the highest utilization. The reasons for low utilization need to be explored and addressed.
Initiatives such as aligning reimbursement policy with current guidelines, developing specific guidelines for BMD testing in men and perimenopausal women, improving BMD reports to assist in clinical decision making, developing a registry to track BMD tests, improving access to BMD tests in remote/rural counties, establishing mechanisms to alert family physicians of fractures, and educating physicians and the public, will improve the appropriate utilization of BMD tests, and further decrease the rate of fractures in Ontario. Some of these initiatives such as developing guidelines for perimenopausal women and men, and developing a standardized requisition form for BMD testing, are currently in progress under the Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy.
PMCID: PMC3379167  PMID: 23074491
3.  Multifactorial analysis of risk factors for reduced bone mineral density among postmenopausal women 
The study aimed to determine the risk factors for reduced bone mineral density (BMD) among postmenopausal women.
Material and methods
Two hundred and fifty-three postmenopausal women were included to the study. The study group consisted of 85 women with osteoporosis (mean age: 59.9 years) and 168 with osteopenia (mean age: 57.8 years). Patients were assigned to groups according to their BMD measured in the lumbar spine, hip and femoral neck by dual X-ray absorptiometry. Bone formation was assessed by measuring serum osteocalcin and bone resorption by measuring serum C-terminal type I α-collagen chain telopeptide.
Multiple regression analysis for lumbar spine showed association of age (p = 0.001), parental history of fracture (p = 0.05), use of hormone replacement therapy (p = 0.034), bisphosphonates therapy (p < 0.001), calcium and vitamin D supplements therapy (p = 0.001), oestradiol level (p = 0.007) and body mass index (p < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis for femoral neck and hip total showed association of age (p = 0.001), parental history of fracture (p = 0.049), use of bisphosphonates (p < 0.03)) use of calcium and vitamin D supplements (p = 0.039), oestradiol level (p = 0.047). All the variables together explain 40.4% of variance in BMD for the lumbar spine and 25.6% of variance in BMD for femoral neck and hip total.
The present study demonstrated correlations between the variables and BMD, which are known and widely described in the literature. Osteoporosis and osteopenia in Polish subjects appear to be associated with several known risk factors that are well described in the literature.
PMCID: PMC3361047  PMID: 22662008
bone mineral density; postmenopausal women; osteoporosis; osteopenia; multifactorial analysis
4.  Testosterone Replacement and Bone Mineral Density in Male Pituitary Tumor Patients 
Endocrinology and Metabolism  2014;29(1):48-53.
Hypopituitarism is associated with osteoporosis and osteopenia especially when hypogonadotropic hypogonadism is present. Despite hypopituitarism being an important cause of secondary osteoporosis, osteoporosis in patients receiving surgery for pituitary tumors in Korea has not been studied. In this study, we evaluated the effects of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) on bone mineral density (BMD) in postoperative hypogonadal patients with pituitary tumors.
To examine the effect of TRT on BMD, we performed a retrospective observational study in 21 postoperative male patients who underwent pituitary tumor surgery between 2003 and 2012 at the Ajou University Hospital. Testosterone was replaced in postoperative hypogonadal patients by regular intramuscular injection, daily oral medication, or application of transdermal gel. BMD (g/cm2) measurements of central skeletal sites (lumbar spine, femoral neck, and total femur) were obtained using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (GE Lunar). For lumbar spine BMD, L1 to L4 values were chosen for analysis. Femur neck and total femur were also analyzed.
During the follow-up period (mean, 56 months; range, 12 to 99 months) serum testosterone levels increased with the administration of TRT (P=0.007). There was significant improvement (4.56%±9.81%) in the lumbar spine BMD compared to baseline BMD. There were no significant changes in the femur neck BMD or total femur BMD. We did not find any statistically significant relationships between changes in testosterone levels and BMD using Spearman correlation analysis.
Our results indicated that TRT used in the postoperative period for hypogonadal pituitary tumor surgery patients may have beneficial effects on the BMD of the spine.
PMCID: PMC3970284  PMID: 24741454
Osteoporosis; Bone density; Pituitary neoplasms; Hypogonadism; Testosterone; Male
5.  Osteoporosis and osteopenia in adults and adolescents with cystic fibrosis: prevalence and associated factors 
Thorax  2000;55(9):798-804.
BACKGROUND—Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) have many risk factors for reduced bone mineral density (BMD). The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia in a large cross section of patients and to identify risk factors.
METHODS—All patients attending the regional centre were invited to participate in the study. Bone mineral density was measured at the lumbar spine, femoral neck, and for total body with a Lunar DPX-L densitometer. Multiple indices of disease severity were investigated, and liver and thyroid function, blood calcium, phosphate, 25-OH vitamin D, follicle stimulating and luteinising hormone, oestradiol, and testosterone levels were measured. Patients completed a four day prospective dietary diary. Exercise was assessed by a seven day activity recall questionnaire. Sexual development and treatment histories were obtained. The relationship between all these variables and BMD measurements was analysed.
RESULTS—Sixty six percent of 114 patients assessed had osteopenia or osteoporosis. The Shwachman-Kulczycki (SK) clinical score (higher score = less severe disease) correlated significantly with BMD at the lumbar spine and femoral neck, and with total body BMD (p<0.001). There was a predicted increase of 0.0032 g/cm2 in lumbar spine BMD for every unit increase in the SK score. Oral steroid use was significantly associated with reduced BMD at the lumbar spine (p = 0.017) and femoral neck (p = 0.027).
CONCLUSIONS—Osteopenia and osteoporosis are common findings in a heterogeneous population of adults with CF. Patients at most risk are those with severe disease and those who have used corticosteroids.

PMCID: PMC1745849  PMID: 10950902
6.  High prevalence of low bone mineral density in patients within 10 years of onset of ankylosing spondylitis: a systematic review 
Clinical Rheumatology  2012;31(11):1529-1535.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease. Decreased bone mineral density (BMD) is a common complication of AS, with a prevalence range of 19 to 62 %. Many studies have shown decreased BMD in AS with long disease duration, but only a few studies investigated BMD in early AS. The prevalence of decreased BMD in early disease stages of AS has not yet been clearly described, and for that reason, we reviewed the literature which describes the prevalence of decreased BMD in AS patients with a short disease duration (<10 years). In this review, we included articles which used the modified New York criteria for the diagnosis of AS, included patients with a disease duration of less than 10 years, and used the WHO criteria for osteopenia and osteoporosis. Decreased BMD was defined as a T score < −1.0, including both osteopenia and osteoporosis. For this review, only articles that acquired BMD data of lumbar spine and femoral neck by DXA were used. The literature search provided us 35 articles of which 7 matched all our criteria, and they will be further outlined in this review. The overall prevalence of decreased BMD of the articles reviewed is 54 % (n = 229/424) for lumbar spine and 51 % (n = 224/443) for femoral neck. The prevalence of osteopenia vs. osteoporosis for lumbar spine is 39 vs. 16 % and for femoral neck, 38 vs. 13 %. This review showed a high total prevalence of 51–54 % decreased BMD and 13–16 % osteoporosis in AS with a short disease duration. This high prevalence was not to be expected in a relatively young and predominantly male population. Further research is needed to determine the clinical relevance of this low BMD by investigating the relation between low BMD and vertebral and nonvertebral fractures at this early stage in AS.
PMCID: PMC3483100  PMID: 22706444
Ankylosing spondylitis; Bone mineral density; Osteopenia; Osteoporosis; Vertebral fractures
7.  Effects of the anti-receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand denusomab on beta thalassemia major-induced osteoporosis 
Osteoporosis represents the second most common cause of endocrinopathy in patients with beta thalassemia major (BTM). Some drugs proved effective to reduce vertebral and non-vertebral fracture risk. Denosumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody to the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL), a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily essential for osteoclastogenesis. The efficacy and safety of denosumab in BTM-induced osteoporosis has not been tested.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of anti-RANKL on the biochemical and radiological parameters of bone mineralization in patients with BTM-induced osteoporosis.
The study population was selected using the random sampling method from the patient's database of our thalassemia clinic. Transfusion-dependent BTM patients above 18 years with no history of treatment with bisphosphonates were randomly selected. Bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine (LS) and right femoral neck (FN) were measured by dual energy X-ray absorption (DEXA) scan using a calibrated method. Independent factors likely to be associated with low bone mass were determined and included in the analysis to ascertain possible associations.
Patients and Methods:
We studied 30 patients with BTM-induced osteoporosis as per World Health Organization criteria (T Score of less than − 1.0 being defined as osteopenic and a T Score of less than − 2.5 being referred as osteoporotic). 19 males and 11 females aged between 18 and 32 years, with full pubertal development (Tanner's stage 5) at the time of the study. Their mean serum ferritin concentration was 3557 ng ± 1488 ng/ml. Every patient underwent DEXA scan as a baseline and after 12 months of denosumab therapy. Biochemical evaluation including serum concentrations of creatinine, Na, K, calcium, phosphorus, parathormone, bone specific alkaline phosphatase and type 1 collagen carboxy telopetide (ICCT) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Nordic Bioscience Diagnostics A/S) was done at baseline, after a month and then every 3 months for 12 months after starting denosumab. 60 mg of denosumab was administered subcutaneously twice yearly for a year. The mean BMD T Scores at baseline were −2.7 at the LS and −2.1 at the FN.
Denosumab therapy for a year was associated with a significant increase in BMD of 9.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.2-10.1) at the LS and 6.0% (95% CI, 5.2-6.7) at the FN. Denosumab treatment decreased serum ICCT levels by 56% at 1 month and normalized them in all patients at 1 year. Significant correlations were found between BMD T Score before and 1 year after denosumab in LS (r = 0.752, P < 0.001) and FN (r = 0.758 P < 0.001), respectively. The most common side effects were pain in the back and extremities (12%) and nausea (10%). Asymptomatic hypocalcaemia occurred in two patients.
Denosumab therapy for a year significantly increased BMD density at LS and FN of patients with BTM and was associated with a rapid and sustained reduction in ICCT levels. Further studies are required to confirm long-term effects of this therapy.
PMCID: PMC4138914  PMID: 25143915
Bone alkaline phosphatase; bone mineral density; denosumab; osteoporosis; thalassemia; type 1 collagen carboxy telopetide
8.  Correlation of vitamin D, bone mineral density and parathyroid hormone levels in adults with low bone density 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2013;47(4):402-407.
Bone mineral densiy (BMD) is known to be affected by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH) D) levels, intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels. Indian data pertinent to above observation is scant. Our study aimed to investigate the relationships between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH) D) levels, intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels and bone mineral density (BMD) in a cohort of Indian patients.
Materials and Methods:
Adults with or without fragility fractures with low BMD at the hip or lumbar spine were evaluated clinically along with laboratory investigations. T-scores of the hip and spine were derived from BMD-DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry). Multivariate regression models were used to investigate the relationships between serum 25(OH) D, iPTH and BMD.
Total of 102 patients (male:female = 38:64) with a mean age of 62.5 ± 6.4 years were included in the study. Forty-four patients had osteopenia. Osteoporosis was present in 58 patients. The mean values for serum 25(OH) D and iPTH levels were 21.3 ± 0.5 ng/ml and 53.1 ± 22.3 pg/ml, respectively. In 84.3% of patients, serum 25(OH) D levels were below 30 ng/ml (Normal = 30-74 ng/ml), confirming vitamin D deficiency. There was no association between 25(OH) D levels and BMD at the hip or lumbar spine (P = 0.473 and 0.353, respectively). Both at the hip and lumbar spine; iPTH levels, male gender, body mass index (BMI) and age were found to be significant predictors of BMD. Patients with higher BMI had significantly lower BMD and T-score. At levels <30 ng/ml, 25(OH) D was negatively associated with iPTH (P = 0.041).
Among our cohort of patients with low BMD, no direct relationship between serum 25(OH) D levels and BMD was observed. However, a negative correlation between iPTH and 25(OH) D at serum 25(OH) D concentrations <30 ng/ml. Serum iPTH levels showed a significant negative association with BMD at the hip and lumbar spine. Our findings underscore the critical role of parathyroid hormone in bone metabolism and health.
PMCID: PMC3745696  PMID: 23960286
Bone mineral density; osteoporosis; parathyroid hormone; vitamin D
9.  Vitamin K Supplementation in Postmenopausal Women with Osteopenia (ECKO Trial): A Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(10):1-12.
Vitamin K has been widely promoted as a supplement for decreasing bone loss in postmenopausal women, but the long-term benefits and potential harms are unknown. This study was conducted to determine whether daily high-dose vitamin K1 supplementation safely reduces bone loss, bone turnover, and fractures.
Methods and Findings
This single-center study was designed as a 2-y randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, extended for earlier participants for up to an additional 2 y because of interest in long-term safety and fractures. A total of 440 postmenopausal women with osteopenia were randomized to either 5 mg of vitamin K1 or placebo daily. Primary outcomes were changes in BMD at the lumbar spine and total hip at 2 y. Secondary outcomes included changes in BMD at other sites and other time points, bone turnover markers, height, fractures, adverse effects, and health-related quality of life. This study has a power of 90% to detect 3% differences in BMD between the two groups. The women in this study were vitamin D replete, with a mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 77 nmol/l at baseline. Over 2 y, BMD decreased by −1.28% and −1.22% (p = 0.84) (difference of −0.06%; 95% confidence interval [CI] −0.67% to 0.54%) at the lumbar spine and −0.69% and −0.88% (p = 0.51) (difference of 0.19%; 95% CI −0.37% to 0.75%) at the total hip in the vitamin K and placebo groups, respectively. There were no significant differences in changes in BMD at any site between the two groups over the 2- to 4-y period. Daily vitamin K1 supplementation increased serum vitamin K1 levels by 10-fold, and decreased the percentage of undercarboxylated osteocalcin and total osteocalcin levels (bone formation marker). However, C-telopeptide levels (bone resorption marker) were not significantly different between the two groups. Fewer women in the vitamin K group had clinical fractures (nine versus 20, p = 0.04) and fewer had cancers (three versus 12, p = 0.02). Vitamin K supplements were well-tolerated over the 4-y period. There were no significant differences in adverse effects or health-related quality of life between the two groups. The study was not powered to examine fractures or cancers, and their numbers were small.
Daily 5 mg of vitamin K1 supplementation for 2 to 4 y does not protect against age-related decline in BMD, but may protect against fractures and cancers in postmenopausal women with osteopenia. More studies are needed to further examine the effect of vitamin K on fractures and cancers.
Trial registration: (#NCT00150969) and Current Controlled Trials (#ISRCTN61708241)
Angela Cheung and colleagues investigate whether vitamin K1 can prevent bone loss among postmenopausal women with osteopenia.
Editors' Summary
Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the bones gradually become less dense and more likely to break. In the US, 10 million people have osteoporosis and 18 million have osteopenia, a milder condition that precedes osteoporosis. In both conditions, insufficient new bone is made and/or too much old bone is absorbed. Although bone appears solid and unchanging, very little bone in the human body is more than 10 y old. Old bone is continually absorbed and new bone built using calcium, phosphorous, and proteins. Because the sex hormones control calcium and phosphorous deposition in the bones and thus bone strength, the leading cause of osteoporosis in women is reduced estrogen levels after menopause. In men, an age-related decline in testosterone levels can cause osteoporosis. Most people discover they have osteoporosis only when they break a bone, but the condition can be diagnosed and monitored using bone mineral density (BMD) scans. Treatments can slow down or reverse bone loss (antiresorptive therapies) and some (bone formation therapies) can even make bone and build bone tissue.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although regular exercise and a healthy diet can help to keep bones strong, other ways of preventing osteoporosis are badly needed. Recently, the lay media has promoted vitamin K supplements as a way to reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women. Vitamin K (which is found mainly in leafy green vegetables) is required for a chemical modification of proteins called carboxylation. This modification is essential for the activity of three bone-building proteins. In addition, there is some evidence that low bone density and fractures are associated with a low vitamin K intake. However, little is known about the long-term benefits or harms of vitamin K supplements. In this study, the researchers investigate whether a high-dose daily vitamin K supplement can safely reduce bone loss, bone turnover, and fractures in postmenopausal women with osteopenia in a randomized controlled trial called the “Evaluation of the Clinical Use of Vitamin K Supplementation in Post-Menopausal Women With Osteopenia” (ECKO) trial.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In the study, 440 postmenopausal women with osteopenia were randomized to receive 5mg of vitamin K1 (the type of vitamin K in North American food; the recommended daily adult intake of vitamin K1 is about 0.1 mg) or an inactive tablet (placebo) daily for 2 y; 261 of the women continued their treatment for 2 y to gather information about the long-term effects of vitamin K1 supplementation. All the women had regular bone density scans of their lower back and hips and were examined for fractures and for changes in bone turnover. After 2 y and after 4 y, lower back and hip bone density measurements had decreased by similar amounts in both treatment groups. The women who took vitamin K1 had 10-fold higher amounts of vitamin K1 in their blood than the women who took placebo and lower amounts of a bone formation marker; the levels of a bone resorption marker were similar in both groups. Over the 4-y period, fewer women in the vitamin K group had fractures (nine versus 20 women in the placebo group), and fewer had cancer (three versus 12). Finally, vitamin K supplementation was well tolerated over the 4-y period and adverse health effects were similar in the two treatment groups.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that a high daily dose of vitamin K1 provides no protection against the age-related decline in bone density in postmenopausal women with osteopenia, but that vitamin K1 supplementation may protect against fractures and cancers in these women. The apparent contradiction between the effects of vitamin K1 on bone density and on fractures could mean that vitamin K1 supplements strengthen bone by changing factors other than bone density, e.g., by changing its fine structure rather than making it denser. However, because so few study participants had fractures, the difference in the fracture rate between the two treatment groups might have occurred by chance. Larger studies are therefore needed to examine the effect of vitamin K1 on fractures (and on cancer) and, until these are done, high-dose vitamin K1 supplementation should not be recommended for the prevention of osteoporosis.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases provides detailed information about osteoporosis (in English and Spanish) and links to other resources, including an interactive web tool called Check Up On Your Bones
MedlinePlus provides links to additional information about osteoporosis (in English and Spanish)
The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia has a page about vitamin K
The UK Food Standards Agency provides information about vitamin K
Full details about the ECKO trial are available on the Web site
The Canadian Task Force for Preventive Health Care provides recommendations on the prevention of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women
Osteoporosis Canada provides information on current topics related to osteoporosis
PMCID: PMC2566998  PMID: 18922041
10.  Copper deficit as a potential pathogenic factor of reduced bone mineral density and severe tooth wear 
Osteoporosis International  2013;25(2):447-454.
The study evaluated if men and women with severe tooth wear were at increased risk of general bone loss. Enamel biopsies obtained from 50 subjects aged 47.5 ± 5 years showed decreased copper content, which was associated with reduced spine bone mineral density, suggesting deficits of this trace element contributing to bone demineralization, enamel attrition, and deteriorated quality of mineralized tissues.
The objective of this cross-sectional study was to assess associations between enamel trace minerals and bone mineral density (BMD) in severe tooth wear. We hypothesized that similar factors contributed to both the excessive abrasion of dental enamel and reduced BMD in subjects with tooth wear.
Fifty patients aged 47.5 ± 5 years with severe tooth wear and 20 age-, sex-, and body mass index (BMI)-matched healthy volunteers with normal dental status were studied regarding dietary intakes of trace elements, serum and salivary copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and calcium (Ca) concentrations, and serum PTH, osteocalcin, and hydroxyvitamin D levels. Tooth wear was determined using clinical examination based on standard protocol according to Smith and Knight. In all subjects, acid biopsies of the maxillary central incisors were carried out to assess mineral composition of the enamel. Atomic absorption spectroscopy with an air/acetylene flame was used to measure Ca and Zn, and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy was used to analyze Cu content. BMD was examined using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry.
Tooth wear patients had reduced lumbar spine, but not femoral, BMD relative to controls (p < 0.001). No differences were found in enamel Ca concentration and Zn content was slightly higher in tooth wear patients than in controls whereas Cu content was significantly decreased in the patients: 19.59 ± 16.4 vs 36.86 ± 26.1 μg/l (p = 0.01) despite similar levels of Cu in serum and saliva. The differences were independent of serum 25-OH-D, osteocalcin concentrations or PTH either.
Severe tooth wear is associated with reduced spinal BMD. Enamel in adult individuals with severe tooth wear is low in copper content. Therefore, further work is needed to determine whether copper plays a role in bone pathophysiology in these patients.
PMCID: PMC3906556  PMID: 23797848
Bone mineral density; Copper deficit; Dental status; Enamel attrition; Enamel composition; Microelements
11.  Osteoporosis in ankylosing spondylitis - prevalence, risk factors and methods of assessment 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2012;14(3):R108.
Osteoporosis can be a complication of ankylosing spondylitis (AS), but diagnosing spinal osteoporosis can be difficult since pathologic new bone formation interferes with the assessment of the bone mineral density (BMD). The aims of the current study were to investigate prevalence and risk factors for reduced BMD in a Swedish cohort of AS patients, and to examine how progressive ankylosis influences BMD with the use of dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) of the lumbar spine in different projections.
Methods of assessment were questionnaires, back mobility tests, blood samples, lateral spine radiographs for syndesmophyte grading (mSASSS), DXA of the hip, radius and lumbar spine in anteroposterior (AP) and lateral projections with estimation of volumetric BMD (vBMD).
AS patients (modified New York criteria), 87 women and 117 men, mean age 50 ± 13 years and disease duration 15 ± 11 years were included. According to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria 21% osteoporosis and 44% osteopenia was diagnosed in patients > = 50 years. Under age 50 BMD below expected range for age was found in 5%. Interestingly lateral lumbar DXA showed significantly lower BMD and revealed significantly more cases with osteoporosis as compared with AP DXA. Lumbar vBMD was not different between sexes, but women had significantly more lumbar osteoporosis measured with AP DXA (P < 0.001). Men had significantly higher mSASSS (P < 0.001). Low BMD was associated with high age, disease duration, mSASSS, Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index (BASMI), inflammatory parameters and low body mass index (BMI). Increasing mSASSS correlated significantly with decreasing lateral and volumetric lumbar BMD, while AP lumbar BMD showed tendency to increase.
Osteoporosis and osteopenia is common in AS and associated with high disease burden. Lateral and volumetric lumbar DXA are more sensitive than AP DXA in detecting osteoporosis and are less affected by syndesmophyte formation.
PMCID: PMC3446485  PMID: 22569245
12.  Zinc and Copper Status in Children with Beta-Thalassemia Major  
Iranian Journal of Pediatrics  2010;20(3):297-302.
There are some reports in which a condition of zinc deficiency and its associated outcomes with a change in concentration of serum copper among the thalassemic patients has been highlighted. The aim of this prospective study was to determine the serum zinc and copper levels in children with beta-thalassemia major.
In this cross sectional study all children under 12 years affected by beta thalassemia major (40 patients) were evaluated for serum zinc and copper levels in Qazvin thalassemia center (Qazvin, Iran) in 2007. Serum measurements for zinc and copper were performed by atomic absorption spectrophotometer.
The mean concentrations of serum zinc and copper levels were 67.35±20.38 and 152.42±24.17 µg/dl respectively. Twenty-six (65%) of thalassemic patients had zinc concentration under 70 µg/dl (hypozincemia). None of the thalassemic children had copper deficiency. No significant correlation between serum zinc level with age, weight, height, body mass index, duration of blood transfusion, desferrioxamine dose and ferritin level was observed in thalassemic patients (P=0.3).
This study revealed that hypozincemia is common in thalassemic patients, but in contrast, there is no copper deficiency. Further evaluation in this regard is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3446035  PMID: 23056720
Beta-thalassemia; Zinc; Copper; Children
13.  Relationship between body mass index and bone mineral density in HIV-infected patients referred for DXA 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19569.
Reduced bone mass density (BMD) is a frequent observation in HIV-infected persons. Relationship between body mass index (BMI), weight, height and BMD was reported for many populations. In particular, BMI has been found to be inversely related to the risk of osteoporosis.
This is a cross-sectional, monocentric study where all HIV-infected patients referred to first DXA scan in clinical routine during 2010–2013 were included. Osteopenia and osteoporosis were defined by T- score <−1 and <−2.5, respectively. Patients were categorized according to WHO BMI classification: underweight <18.5 kg/m2; normal weight 18.5–24.9 kg/m2; over weight 25–29.9 kg/m2; obese >30 kg/m2. Statistical analysis was carried using logistic regression.
A total of 918 patients were included: median age 49 years (IQR, 44–55); 59.4% male; 93% Caucasian. Median anthrometric characteristics were: 68 kg (IQR, 59–78); 1.7 m (IQR, 1.6–1.75); 23.5 kg/m2 (IQR, 21.4–26.2). Underweight was found in 5%, normal weight in 61%, overweight in 26% and obesity in 8% of patients. According to T-scores, 110 (11.2%) patients were osteoporotic and 502 (54.7%) had osteopenia. In the femoral neck area, the prevalence of osteoporosis was slightly lower (5.7%) than lumbar spine site (9.2%). Agreements between sites of T-scores for the diagnosis of osteoporosis were 26 and 172 and 346 for osteopenia and normal BMD values, respectively. T-scores at femoral neck or lumbar spine positively correlated with BMI (p<0.001) (Figure 1). Among predictors of osteopenia/osteoporosis, univariable analysis showed: older age (p<0.0001); lower weight (p<0.0001); increasing height (p<0.002). Patients underweight had a higher risk of osteopenia (p=0.02) as well as of osteoporosis (p=0.003). Patients with BMI above normal had a reduced risk of low BMD (osteopenia p<0.0001; osteoporosis p<0.03). Controlling for calendar year, gender, ethnicity, and age, BMI was confirmed as risk factor if below normal (AdjOR of osteopenia 2.42 [95% CI 1.16–5.07] p=0.02; AdjOR of osteoporosis 3.22 [95% CI 1.60–6.49] p=0.001).
Our findings indicate that almost 66% of HIV-infected patients have subnormal bone mass. Further, as in other patient populations, in the HIV infection also low BMI is an important risk factor for osteopenia/osteoporosis. This finding highlights the compelling need for standardized screening actions, particularly in patients weighting below normal.
PMCID: PMC4224848  PMID: 25394076
14.  Prevalence of osteoporosis and vertebral fractures in acromegalic patients 
Growth Hormone (GH) and Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1) stimulate proliferation, differentiation and extracellular matrix production in osteoblastic cells. GH and IGF-1 also stimulate recruitment and bone resorption activity in osteoclastic cells. A chronic systemic GH and IGF-1 excess produces an increased bone turn over in acromegalic patients (pts). Osteoporosis, joint alterations and bone deformities have a great clinical relevance in acromegalic pts and favour mortality and morbility. In the present study we evaluate the still unclear GH/IGF-1 activity on bone, Bone Mineral Density (BMD) and risk of osteoporotic Vertebral Fractures (VF), in relation to gender and gonadal status in acromegalic pts.
Twenty acromegalic pts (12 F, 8 M) ranging 26–64 years were studied. Four pts were hypogonadic (1 F, 3 M), seven women were in post-menopause (PM) and four women eugonadic. The disease was active in twelve pts and inactive in eight pts. Serum and urinary 24/hrs calcium and phosphate and serum PTH, bone formation (P1NP) and resorption (beta-CTX) markers were assayed. BMD was measured using dual energy X ray absorptiometry (DXA) at the lumbar spine and femoral neck and bone quantitative ultrasonography (QUS) at phalanges. Osteoporotic VF were assessed by antero-posterior and lateral x-ray examinations of the thoracic and lumbar spine.
Serum IGF-1, calcium and phosphate and 24-hours urinary calcium were significantly higher in pts with active disease in respect to pts with inactive disease. BMD was reduced in more of 50% of pts, in each skeletal sites measured. Z-score values were lower in males than in females. VF prevalence was 39% (43% in women, 57% in men). Fractured and non-fractured pts were not significantly different for BMD, T-score and Z-score.
In conclusion, VF are frequent in acromegaly and, even mild and asymptomatic, play an important role on life quality and survival, already decreased in acromegalic pts. DXA and QUS methods are not sufficient for identifying pts at risk for fracture, due to the many possible interferences (bone deformities, osteoarthritis, joint rigidity and soft tissue tickening), since BMD is just one determinant of bone fracture. In the screening of acromegalic complications, it is necessary to perform a radiographic study of the spine at the time of diagnosis and during follow up.
PMCID: PMC3279059  PMID: 22461828
acromegaly; osteoporosis
15.  Prevalence of Vitamin D insufficiency and low bone mineral density in elderly Thai nursing home residents 
BMC Geriatrics  2012;12:49.
Numerous emerging data from research on osteoporosis among Asians found differences from Caucasians. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and osteoporosis in elderly participants from two nursing homes in Thailand, a country located near the equator.
The subjects of this cross-sectional study comprised 93 elderly Thai women who were living in institutional long-term nursing homes for the aged. Demographic data, daily food and calcium intake, physical activity, and sunlight exposure were measured. Lumbar spine and femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) and biochemical levels including serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and bone turnover markers were assessed. Vitamin D insufficiency was defined as 25(OH)D level < 70 nmol/l.
The mean age of subjects was 75.2 ± 6.0 (SD) years. Dietary calcium intake was low (322 ± 158 mg/day) The mean 25(OH)D level was 64.3 ± 14.9 nmol/L and the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency was 38.7% (95% CI: 28.8%, 49.4%). There was no correlation between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and age (r = −.11, p = 0.3). The mean BMD of lumbar spine and femoral neck were 0.92 ± 0.19 and 0.65 ± 0.10 g/cm2, respectively. Nearly a half of the subjects had osteopenia (44.1%, 95% CI: 33.8%, 54.8%) and osteoporosis (47.3%, 95% CI: 36.9%, 57.9%). Circulating C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTx) level correlated significantly with both lumbar spine (r = −0.26, p = 0.01) and femoral neck BMD (r = −0.25, p = 0.02).
More than one-third of Thai elderly women residing in nursing homes had vitamin D insufficiency. Almost all nursing home residents had osteoporosis and/or osteopenia.
PMCID: PMC3490934  PMID: 22938528
Vitamin D; Osteoporosis; Bone density; Aged; Nursing homes; Collagen type I trimeric cross-linked peptide
16.  Relationship between bone mineral density and the frequent administration of epidural steroid injections in postmenopausal women with low back pain 
Epidural steroid injection (ESI) is one of the most common nonsurgical treatments for low back pain. In general, corticosteroid therapy often results in bone loss and osteoporosis. In previous studies, bone mineral density (BMD) was evaluated after epidural injections of relatively small numbers and relatively low total doses of corticosteroids. However, the relationship between BMD and multiple ESIs remains to be elucidated.
To explore the relationship between BMD and multiple ESIs in postmenopausal women with low back pain.
Medical records of postmenopausal women with low back pain treated with or without ESIs were reviewed. BMD was measured in the lumbar spine, femoral neck and total femur after the treatments. A total of 71 patients were divided into two groups: group 1 included patients who had received non-ESI medications; and group 2 included those who had received ESIs >10 times, with a cumulative administered triamcinolone dose >200 mg.
Patients in group 2 showed lower BMD in the femoral neck and total femur. However, no significant intergroup differences in the BMD of the lumbar spine were observed. The prevalences of osteoporosis and osteopenia in the lumbar spine and femoral neck were significantly higher in group 2; these patients also had lower femoral neck BMD Z-scores.
Multiple ESIs (approximately 14 injections with a cumulative triamcinolone dose of approximately 400 mg) can reduce BMD in postmenopausal women with low back pain.
PMCID: PMC3938340  PMID: 24404559
Bone mineral density; Corticosteroid; Epidural steroid injection; Low back pain; Postmenopausal women; Triamcinolone
17.  Factors associated with low bone mass in the hemodialysis patients – a cross-sectional correlation study 
Low bone mass is common in end-stage renal disease patients, especially those undergoing hemodialysis. It can lead to serious bone health problems such as fragility fractures. The purpose of this study is to investigate the risk factors of low bone mass in the hemodialysis patients.
Sixty-three subjects on hemodialysis for at least 6 months were recruited from a single center for this cross-sectional study. We collected data by questionnaire survey and medical records review. All subjects underwent a bone mineral density (BMD) assay with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at the lumbar spine and right hip. Data were statistically analyzed by means of descriptive analysis, independent t test and one way analysis of variance for continuous variables, Pearson product-moment correlation to explore the correlated factors of BMD, and stepwise multiple linear regression to identify the predictors of low bone mass.
Using WHO criteria as a cutoff point, fifty-one subjects (81%) had a T-score lower than -1, of them 8 subjects (13%) had osteoporosis with the femoral neck most commonly affected. Regarding risk factors, age, serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) level, and intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) level had significant negative correlations with the femoral neck and lumbar spine BMD. On the other hand, serum albumin level, effective exercise time, and body weight (BW) had significant positive correlations with the femoral neck and lumbar spine BMD. Age, effective exercise time, and serum albumin level significantly predicted the femoral neck BMD (R2 × 0.25), whereas BW and the ALP level significantly predicted the lumbar spine BMD (R2 × 0.20).
This study showed that advanced age, low BW, low serum albumin level, and high ALP and iPTH levels were associated with a low bone mass in the hemodialysis patients. We suggest that regular monitoring of the femoral neck BMD, maintaining an adequate serum albumin level and BW, and undertaking an exercise program are important to improve bone health in the patients undergoing hemodialysis.
PMCID: PMC2700075  PMID: 19497099
18.  Endocrine and metabolic disorders in β-thalassemiamajor patients  
Background: Thalassemia is the most common hereditary anemia and beta thalassemia major is its most severe form. Endocrine abnormalities in thalassemia major are common disturbing complications that need prompt management. The purpose of this study was to determine the endocrine disorders and bone mineral density in patients with major  -thalassemia in .
Methods: In this cross- sectional study, 77 patients with - thalassemia major (15-36 years old) were enrolled. Physical examination, laboratory tests, bone radiography and bone density measurements were performed. Then, the data were analyzed.
Results: Forty patients were males. The mean age was 21.26±4.53 years old. The mean BMI was 20.15±2.79 kg/m2. Impaired puberty, short stature, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, IGT, hypoparathyroidism, vitamin D deficiency and vitamin D insufficiency were observed in 46.8%, 33.8%, 18.2%, 16.9%, 13%, 7.8%, 45.5% and 24.7% of patients, respectively. Nearly 80% of patients had low bone mineral density. Bone mineral density was significantly associated with hypogonadism (p=0.001), short stature (p=0.026), hypoparathyroidism (p=0.031), hypothyroidism (p=0.048), diabetes mellitus (p=0.002) and vitamin D deficiency (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Impaired puberty and short stature were the most common endocrine complications in our population. Low bone density (osteopenia, osteoporosis) is significantly different in β-thalassemic patients with and without endocrine complications.
PMCID: PMC3755848  PMID: 24009916
Major β- thalassemia; Bone mineral density; Osteopenia; Osteoporosis; Puberty
19.  Prevalence and determinants of osteoporosis in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Increased risk of osteoporosis and its clinical significance in patients with diabetes is controversial. We analyze osteoporosis prevalence and determinants of bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with type 1 and 2 diabetes.
Three hundred and ninety-eight consecutive diabetic patients from a single outpatient clinic received a standardized questionnaire on osteoporosis risk factors, and were evaluated for diabetes-related complications, HbA1c levels, and lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN) BMD. Of these, 139 (71 men, 68 women) type 1 and 243 (115 men, 128 women) type 2 diabetes patients were included in the study. BMD (T-scores and values adjusted for age, BMI and duration of disease) was compared between patient groups and between patients with type 2 diabetes and population-based controls (255 men, 249 women).
For both genders, adjusted BMD was not different between the type 1 and type 2 diabetes groups but was higher in the type 2 group compared with controls (p < 0.0001). Osteoporosis prevalence (BMD T-score < −2.5 SD) at FN and LS was equivalent in the type 1 and type 2 diabetes groups, but lower in type 2 patients compared with controls (FN: 13.0% vs 21.2%, LS: 6.1% vs 14.9% men; FN: 21.9% vs 32.1%, LS: 9.4% vs 26.9% women). Osteoporosis prevalence was higher at FN-BMD than at LS-BMD. BMD was positively correlated with BMI and negatively correlated with age, but not correlated with diabetes-specific parameters (therapy, HbBA1c, micro- and macrovascular complications) in all subgroups. Fragility fracture prevalence was low (5.2%) and not different between diabetes groups. Fracture patients had lower BMDs compared with those without fractures; however, BMD T-score was above −2.5 SD in most patients.
Diabetes-specific parameters did not predict BMD. Fracture occurrence was similar in both diabetes groups and related to lower BMD, but seems unrelated to the threshold T-score, <−2.5 SD. These results suggest that osteoporosis, and related fractures, is a clinically significant and commonly underestimated problem in diabetes patients.
PMCID: PMC4021186  PMID: 24721668
Bone mineral density; Diabetes mellitus; Fractures; Osteoporosis; Vascular complications
20.  Prevalence of low bone mineral density among HIV patients on long-term suppressive antiretroviral therapy in resource limited setting of western India 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19567.
Bone mineral density (BMD) assessment in HIV patients is sparsely done in resource limited settings.
Materials and Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study of BMD amongst HIV patients following up in our clinic from 1 June to 1 December 2013 by performing dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan (Lunar Prodigy Advanced DXA System, GE Healthcare) of lumbar spine and hip. Patients on long term (≥12 months), virologically suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) were included. Patients who were ART naïve were included as control population. Virologic failures were excluded. Low BMD was defined by WHO T-score criteria (normal: T score ≥−1;osteopenia: T score between −1 and −2.5 SD; osteoporosis: T score ≤−2.5 SD). Baseline risk factors associated with low BMD like age, low BMI, lipoatrophy, diabetes mellitus, current smoking, current alcohol intake, steroid exposure and menopause were recorded. ART-related factors associated with low BMD like ART duration, exposure to tenofovir and exposure to protease inhibitors (PI) were studied.
A total of 536 patients (66% males, 496 ART experienced and 40 ART naïve) were included in this analysis. Median age was 42 years, mean BMI 23.35 kg/m2 and median CD4 count 146 cells/mm3. All ART experienced patients had plasma viral load<400 copies/ml.
Prevalence of low BMD amongst ART naive and ART experienced patients was 67% (osteopenia: 70.4%, osteoporosis: 29.6%) and 80.4% (osteopenia: 63.4%, osteoporosis: 36.6%), respectively (p=0.05). Mean T scores at lumbar spine and hip for ART naive and ART experienced patients were −1.37 and −0.9 versus −1.56 and −1.48 (p=0.05), respectively. Age, low BMI, current smoking, menopause, baseline CD4 count and exposure to ART were factors significantly associated with low overall BMD on univariate regression analysis. On multivariable logistic regression analysis age (p<0.001), low BMI (p<0.001), current smoking (0.05) and menopause (0.03) were associated with low BMD. BMI decrease of 1 kg/m2 and baseline CD4 decline of 50 cells/mm3 lead to 14% and 4% increased probability of low BMD, respectively. Choice of antiretroviral use (tenofovir vs non-tenofovir, PI vs No PI) did not influence loss of BMD.
Extremely high prevalence of accelerated BMD loss amongst ART naïve and ART experienced patients in our cohort is a matter of deep concern due to its association with pathological fractures. Bone mineral loss was seen irrespective of ART used. Association of low BMD with low baseline CD4 count strengthens the case for early ART.
PMCID: PMC4224871  PMID: 25394074
21.  A Study to Evaluate the Cause of Bone Demineralization in Gynecological Cancer Survivors 
The Oncologist  2013;18(4):423-429.
The prevalence of low bone mineral density in premenopausal women treated for gynecological cancer is explored and the direct effect of cancer treatment versus that of hormone withdrawal on the bone health of gynecological cancer survivors is evaluated.
Learning Objectives
Describe the potential contributors to bone demineralization in patients receiving systematic treatment for gynecological malignancies.Define what is meant by “osteopenia” and “osteoporosis” and describe their relevance to fracture risk.Explain the importance of preventing and managing bone mineral loss and its complications in gynecological cancer survivors.
An association between treatment for gynecological cancers and risk of osteoporosis has never been formally evaluated. Women treated for these cancers are now living longer than ever before, and prevention of treatment-induced morbidities is important. We aimed to distinguish, in gynecological cancer survivors, whether cancer therapy has additional detrimental effects on bone health above those attributable to hormone withdrawal.
We performed a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan results from 105 women; 64 had undergone bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) followed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy for gynecological malignancies, and 41 age-matched women had undergone BSO for benign etiologies. All were premenopausal prior to surgery.
The median age at DEXA scan for the cancer group was 42 years, and 66% had received hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) following their cancer treatment. For the benign group, the median age was 40 years, and 87% had received HRT. Thirty-nine percent of cancer survivors had abnormal DEXA scan results compared to 15% of the control group, with the majority demonstrating osteopenia. The mean lumbar spine and femoral neck bone mineral densities (BMDs) were significantly lower in cancer patients. A history of gynecological cancer treatment was associated with significantly lower BMD in a multivariate logistic regression.
Women treated for gynecological malignancies with surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy have significantly lower BMDs than age-matched women who have undergone oophorectomy for noncancer indications. Prospective evaluation of BMD in gynecological cancer patients is recommended to facilitate interventions that will reduce the risk of subsequent fragility fractures.
PMCID: PMC3639529  PMID: 23363808
Gynecological cancer; Osteoporosis; Bone diseases; Metabolic; Bone density; Survivors
22.  Glucose homeostasis in Egyptian children and adolescents with β-Thalassemia major: Relationship to oxidative stress 
Oxidative stress in children with β-thalassemia may contribute to shortened life span of erythrocytes and endocrinal abnormalities.
This study was aimed to evaluate glucose homeostasis in Egyptian children and adolescents with β-thalassemia major and its relation to oxidative stress.
Materials and Methods:
Sixty children and adolescents with β-thalassemia major were studied in comparison to 30 healthy age and sex-matched subjects. Detailed medical history, thorough clinical examination, and laboratory assessment of oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), serum ferritin, alanine transferase (ALT), fasting insulin levels, plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) as oxidant marker and serum total antioxidants capacity (TAC) were performed. Patients were divided into two groups according to the presence of abnormal OGTT.
The prevalence of diabetes was 5% (3 of 60) and impaired glucose tolerance test (IGT) was 8% (5 of 60). Fasting blood glucose, 2-hour post-load plasma glucose, serum ferritin, ALT, fasting insulin level, homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR) and MDA levels were significantly elevated while TAC level was significantly decreased in thalassemic patients compared with healthy controls (P < 0.001 for each). The difference was more evident in patients with abnormal OGTT than those with normal oral glucose tolerance (P < 0.001 for each). We also observed that thalassemic patients not receiving or on irregular chelation therapy had significantly higher fasting, 2-h post-load plasma glucose, serum ferritin, ALT, fasting insulin, HOMA-IR, oxidative stress markers OSI and MDA levels and significantly lower TAC compared with either those on regular chelation or controls. HOMA-IR was positively correlated with age, serum ferritin, ALT, MDA, and negatively correlated with TAC.
The development of abnormal glucose tolerance in Egyptian children and adolescents with β--thalassemia is associated with alteration in oxidant-antioxidant status and increase in insulin resistance.
1- Glucose tolerance tests, HOMA-IR, and MDA should be an integral part of the long-term follow-up of children and adolescents with β-thalassemia major. 2- Regular iron chelation and antioxidant therapy should be advised for thalassemic patients to improve glucose hemostasis.
PMCID: PMC4056131  PMID: 24944927
β-thalassemic major; diabetes mellitus; insulin resistance; oxidative stress
23.  Bone Density and Bone Metabolism in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease 
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at high risk for low bone mineral density (BMD). This study aimed to evaluate BMD in IBD patients and its relationship with bone metabolism in a group of Iranian patients.
Patients and Methods:
A cross-sectional study was conducted on patients with IBD to assess BMD status and serum biochemical factors. After getting the demographic data from 200 patients, they were screened using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry of the lumbar spine (L2–L4) and femoral neck for BMD status. Serum levels of calcium, phosphate, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH vitamin D) were measured to assess the bone metabolism status.
Two hundred patients with IBD were enrolled in the study. One hundred and eighty three (91.5%) patients were identified as having ulcerative colitis (UC) and 17 (8.5%) as having Crohn's disease (CD). Based on the lumbar and femoral neck bone mass densitometry, 148 (74.4%) patients had low BMD at either lumbar spine or femoral neck. Of these, 100 patients (50.3%) were osteopenic and 48 patients (24.1%) were osteoporotic. A 58.6% and 61% of patients with UC had low BMD in the lumbar and femoral neck, respectively. These results for those with CD were 76.5% and 70.6%, respectively. The mean of femoral neck and lumbar T-scores in patients with UC were -1.14 and -1.38, and in patients with CD were -1.24 and -1.47, respectively (P > 0.05). The mean (±SD) levels for calcium (Ca) in UC and CD were in the normal range. The mean (±SD) levels of ALP and 25-OH vitamin D in both the groups were in the normal range, and in comparison between groups (UC and CD), no significant differences were observed (P = 0.20 for ALP and P = 0.44 for 25-OH vitamin D). In the assessment of correlation between biochemical markers and BMD, an inverse correlation between lumbar T-score and ALP or 25-OH vitamin D only in patients with UC was observed.
The high prevalence of low BMD in the Iranian population with IBD needs attention. The subclinical vitamin D deficiency may contribute to bone loss in IBD patients, which is more pronounced in patients with UC in this study because of the small population of patients with CD.
PMCID: PMC3409884  PMID: 22824766
Inflammatory bowel disease; osteopenia; osteoporosis
24.  Prevalence and correlates of osteoporosis in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients in India 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a syndrome of progressive airflow limitation caused by the abnormal inflammatory reaction of the airway and lung parenchyma. Osteoporosis is one of the major extrapulmonary manifestations of COPD. The, prevalence of osteoporosis in COPD patients in Indian population is unknown.
To study the prevalence of osteoporosis in COPD and to define various risk factors associated with reduced bone mineral density (BMD) in COPD.
Materials and Methods:
The study was done in the department of Pulmonary Medicine of a tertiary care hospital. All the diagnosed cases of COPD according to the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines were included in this study. The present study was a prospective study in for a period of 1 year. A brief history of the patients was taken, especially regarding duration of illness, number of exacerbations in the past 3 years, smoking in pack years, and history of steroid use (both systemic and inhaled steroids) after which cumulative dose of steroids was calculated. Spirometry was done in all these patients to stage the severity of COPD according to GOLD criteria. DEXA scan of the lumbar spine was done using bone densitometer to determine osteoporosis. A world Health Organization (WHO) criterion for definition of osteoporosis was applied and patients with T-score of > –2.5 standard deviation (SD) were diagnosed to have osteoporosis, –1 SD to –2.5 SD were diagnosed to have osteopenia and < –1 SD as normal. Statistical analysis for association of COPD with osteoporosis was done using chi-square test. Risk factors for osteoporosis were identified by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis.
A total of 102 COPD patients were included in the study. Among these, 68 patients (66.6%) had osteoporosis and 20 patients (19.6%) had osteopenia. Majority (64.7%) of the patients who had osteoporosis had stage III and stage IV COPD disease. It was observed that as the severity grade of COPD increased, the risk of osteoporosis also increased. The bone mineral density (BMD) showed a significant difference among different stages of COPD. As the severity of the stage of COPD increased, BMD decreased. It was also observed that patients with lower body mass index (BMI) had higher prevalence of osteoporosis (37.3%) as compared to overweight patients. On univariate analysis, it was observed that risk factors for osteoporosis were female sex, higher number of exacerbations, BMI, and severity of COPD. After using multivariate logistic regression analysis, stage IV COPD (odds ratio (OR): 34.48, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.59–1,000, P < 0.02), number of acute exacerbations >3 (OR: 30.3, 95% CI: 4.74–200, P < 0.01), and steroid cumulative dose >1,000 mg (OR: 7.35, 95% CI: 0.92–58.5, P < 0.04) were observed to be significant risk factors for osteoporosis in COPD patients.
In the present study, the prevalence of osteoporosis was 66.6% and another 19.6% had osteopenia. As the severity of COPD increased, the risk of osteoporosis increased. GOLD stage III and stage IV patient had significantly lower BMD as compared to stage I and stage II of COPD disease. Stage IV COPD disease, use of oral or parenteral glucocorticoids, and repeated number of exacerbations were found to be independent risk factors for osteoporosis in COPD patients. Thus, high clinical suspicion and early diagnosis and treatment is required in the evaluation of osteoporosis in COPD patients so that the quality of life can be improved in these patients.
PMCID: PMC4129592  PMID: 25125807
COPD; correlates; DEXA scan; osteoporosis; repeated exacerbations; risk factors
25.  Low bone mineral density in Greek patients with inflammatory bowel disease: prevalence and risk factors 
A high prevalence of osteopenia and osteoporosis is observed in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Various risk factors of bone loss have been suggested in IBD. The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of low bone mineral density (BMD) and to identify related risk factors in Greek patients with 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 levels of 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25 OH D), 1.25 dihydroxyvitamin D (1.25 OH 2D), osteocalcin, calcitonin and homocysteine were measured in all participants.
Forty (33.9%) patients were normal, 55 (46.6%) were osteopenic, and 23 (19.5%) were osteoporotic. No significant differences between IBD patients with osteopenia or osteoporosis and those with normal BMD concerning the use of steroids and the examined biochemical markers were found. Statistically significant differences among the three groups were found for body mass index (BMI), age and disease duration (P=0.002, P<0.0001 and P=0.03 respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that the most significant factors associated with BMD were age and BMI (P<0.0001). A weak but statistically significant correlation was also found for disease duration (P=0.04).
There is a high prevalence of osteopenia and osteoporosis in Greek patients with IBD. Low BMI, age and disease duration are the most important independent risk factors for osteoporosis in Greek IBD patients.
PMCID: PMC3959460  PMID: 24714255
bone mineral density; Crohn’s disease; osteocalcin; vitamin D; ulcerative colitis

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