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Keywords:

  • male;
  • osteoporosis;
  • anorexia nervosa;
  • osteopenia;
  • bone density

Abstract

Objective:

Osteoporosis has traditionally been considered a female problem. This study's purpose is to evaluate bone mineral density (BMD) in males with eating disorders.

Method:

Charts of 70 consecutive males admitted to an eating disorder program were reviewed. Females admitted during the same time period were used for comparison. BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

Results:

Thirty-six percent (19/53) had osteopenia and 26% (14/53) had osteoporosis at the lumbar spine. A disproportionate number of males with anorexia restricting or binge/purge subtype (ANR/ANB) had osteoporosis, as well as those of older age, lower weights, and longer illness duration. BMD for ANR and ANB males was significantly lower than females (p = .02 and p = .03, respectively). In multivariate stepwise linear and logistic regression, lowest BMI and illness duration predicted lumbar Z-scores.

Conclusion:

Males with ANR/ANB often have severe bone disease, which is worse than females, and is best predicted by a patient's lowest BMI and illness duration. © 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2008