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Listed below are articles written by Doctors, Therapists, Nutritionists, and others who have worked in the field related to Eating Disorders Awareness and Treatment. If you have an article you'd like to submit, please contact us to make arrangements to place it on the site with proper credit and referring information.

Weight Gain Does Not Increase Bone Density in Women With Eating Disorders

International Journal on Eating Disorders

WESTPORT, Jan 06 (Reuters Health) - Women with eating disorders do not exhibit an increase in bone mineral density after gaining weight, researchers report.

Dr. Tony Towell, from the University of Westminster in London, UK, and colleagues studied 56 women with eating disorders, of whom 48 were diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and the remainder with bulimia nervosa. The women underwent initial bone mineral density measurement either upon admission to hospital or attendance at an eating disorders clinic. Ten of them were available for a second bone mineral density scan 9 to 51 months later.

Bone mineral density was below the fracture threshold in 43% and 75% of women at the first scan, depending on where the measurement was taken. By the time of the second scan, bone mineral density in 80% and 90% of women fell below the threshold. Despite increases in body mass index, "[n]o significant changes in bone mineral density were observed at scan 2."

In addition, "[t]otal duration of amenorrhea, body mass index, frequency of vomiting, and cigarette and alcohol consumption accounted for 40% of the variance in spinal bone mineral density measurement at scan 1," Dr. Towell's group reports.

"[A]n increase in weight may not be sufficient in itself to increase [bone mineral density], but is a safe way to ameliorate further [bone mineral density] loss," the researchers write in the January issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders. "Clinicians may need to monitor more closely [bone mineral density] levels over the course of the eating disorder as it cannot be assumed that [bone mineral density] will increase with weight gain or spontaneously recover."

©2000 Int J Eat Disord 2000;27:29-35. Reprinted with Permission.

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