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Keywords:

  • clinical predictors;
  • lumbar bone density;
  • x-ray absorptiometry

Abstract

Objective

The objective of this study was to examine potential clinical predictors of bone density in patients with eating disorders.

Method

We studied 137 women with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or eating disorder not otherwise specified (NOS) after admission to the hospital. Clinical data of patients were collected by clinical interview and standardized questionnaires. Bone mineral density of the lumbar spine was measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry.

Results

Lumbar bone density was significantly correlated to present and past minimum weight even after correction for height and age. Other factors did not reach significance.

Conclusion

Normalized present and past weight is the best predictor of lumbar bone density in patients with eating disorders. Factors like reduced caloric intake, binge eating, vomiting, menstrual status, and use of estrogen, laxatives, and nicotine seem to have no independent effect on bone density in this group of patients. © 1999 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 25: 143–150, 1999.