Bone mineral density of eating disorder subgroups

Arnold E. Andersen, Paul J. Woodward, Norman LaFrance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Objective: We tested nine hypotheses among eating disorder subgroups and a control group on spinal bone density and investigated the relationship of their spinal bone density with a critical fracture threshold and five clinical variables—age of onset, years ill, percentage of ideal body weight (IBW), months of amenorrhea, and hours per week of exercise. Method: Dual photon absorptiometry measured spinal bone density. Results: Anorectic patients had significantly less spinal bone mass than bulimic patients with no history of anorexia nervosa or control patients. Eating disordered patients with past or present anorexia nervosa had significantly more spinal bone density values below a critical fracture threshold. Duration of amenorrhea and exercise significantly predicted spinal bone density. Discussion: Anorectic women were unlikely to reach their peak bone density, thus possibly developing osteoporosis later in life, and were likely to be at risk for nontraumatic spinal fractures. Predicting spinal bone density of anorectic women could be done by knowing their duration of amenorrhea and exercise. © 1995 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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