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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19109

Title: An Investigation of the Associations among Recovery, Key Illness Characteristics and Bone Mineral Density in Women with a History of Anorexia Nervosa
Authors: Waugh, Esther J.
Advisor: Hawker, Gillian
Department: Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
Keywords: bone mineral density
anorexia nervosa
osteoporosis
exercise
Issue Date: 23-Feb-2010
Abstract: Background: Reduced bone mineral density (BMD) is an established complication of anorexia nervosa (AN). There is inconclusive evidence as to whether this reduction in bone mass is permanent or can be reversed with recovery from AN. The objectives of this study were to: i. determine the extent of reversal of skeletal deficits with recovery from AN, and the duration of recovery required for complete reversal, if this occurred; and, ii. evaluate the effect of key illness characteristics on BMD. Methods: Women (aged 17-40 years) who had previously received inpatient treatment for AN at one of two hospital-based programs were selected for this cross-sectional study; 514 healthy premenopausal women recruited from the community served as a control group. A detailed lifetime illness history was obtained by a Life History Calendar interview. BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) at the spine, hip and total body. Low BMD was defined as a weight and age-matched standard deviation (Z-score) of ≤ -1.5 at one or more skeletal sites. Participants were considered recovered if they had maintained a body mass index ≥ 18.5 kg/m2 and resumed regular menstruation for ≥ 1 year. Results: Of 190 AN participants, 77 were considered recovered and 113 were ill. The prevalence of low BMD was 11.7% in the recovered group, 47.3% in the ill group and 6.8% in the control group. The odds of low BMD in the recovered participants was significantly lower than in the ill participants (odds ratio [OR] = 0.17, 95% CI 0.07, 0.36, p<0.0001) and was not significantly different from the controls (OR = 1.81, 95% CI 0.79, 3.78, p=0.15). Duration of illness was associated with low BMD (OR = 1.16, 95% CI 1.08, 1.25, p<0.0001) and was negatively associated with the odds of AN recovery. Normal mean BMD values at each skeletal site were observed in women recovered ≥ 3 years. Conclusion: The results emphasize the importance of early and sustained AN recovery for the prevention and treatment of low bone mass in this population and may offer motivation for AN patients to make positive behavioural changes leading to successful, long-term recovery.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19109
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Hawker, Gillian
The Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation - Doctoral theses

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