Celiac.com 07/12/2012 - A research team affiliated with the Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition at Complejo Hospitalario Mancha Centro in Alcázar de San Juan, Spain, recently set out to study how bone mineral density correlates with duodenal Marsh stage in newly diagnosed adult celiac patients. The team made up of A. García-Manzanares, J.M. Tenias, and A.J. Lucendo.
To do so, they recruited patients a consecutive group of 40 adults (36 females/4 males), between the ages of 18 and 68, who were newly diagnosed with celiac disease. Average patient age was 44.25 years.
For each patient, the researchers conducted bone density scans on the left hip and lumbar spine using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. They also assessed nutritional parameters and conducted a hormone study to exclude secondary low BMD.
Overall, at diagnosis 45% of patients showed low BMD at both hip and lumbar spine. Risk of hip fracture was generally low, but climbed into the mild range for patients with villous atrophy (p = 0.011).
The team also found that major fracture risk varied according to Marsh stage (p = 0.015). They found significant differences in nutritional status between patients with and without duodenal villous atrophy. Marsh III stage patients showed substantially reduced body mass index and blood levels of pre-albumin, iron, vitamin D and folic acid.
The team found no differences found in blood hormone levels between Marsh stages or BMDs.
They found that the amount of bone mass loss in the lumbar spine was directly tied to Marsh stage. They found a parallel association between BMD and Marsh stage in the hip, but this was not statistically significant.
Overall, results showed that duodenal villous atrophy, through malabsorption, was the main factor for low BMD in patients with adult-onset celiac disease.