Fracture Risk High Among Those with AN

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
November/December 2003 Volume 14, Number 6
©2003 Gürze Books

When a severely underweight patient is prone to recurring fractures, particularly low-impact fractures, clinicians should suspect and investigate the possibility of an undiagnosed eating disorder, according to endocrinologists at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark.

Dr. V. Vestergaard and colleagues note that among AN patients, primarily girls, bone mineral density is decreased and fracture risk increased (Orthop Nurs 2003;22:325). In contrast, those with bulimia nervosa have marginally decreased bone mineral loss, and fracture risk is only slightly increased. Those with other types of eating disorders, such as an eating disorder not otherwise specified, may also have decreased bone mineral density and increased fracture risk, according to Dr. Vestergaard.

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