Assessment and management of low bone density in inflammatory bowel disease and performance of professional society guidelines

Jason P. Etzel, Meaghan F. Larson, Bradley D. Anawalt, Judith Collins, Jason A. Dominitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients have increased prevalence of osteoporosis, leading to guideline recommendations for bone mineral density (BMD) testing. The study aim was to identify predictors of BMD testing and treatment and assess guideline effectiveness to identify IBD patients with osteoporosis. Methods: Records of all IBD patients at seven medical facilities were reviewed for clinical data and BMD testing from January 1996 through October 2006. Results: A total of 2035 patients had 317 bone density tests performed. Osteopenia was found in 48% of patients, osteoporosis in 26%. Among patients meeting guideline criteria for BMD testing and ≥1 year of follow-up, 23.3% underwent testing. The strongest predictors of testing were menopause (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] 3.02) and receiving care at a tertiary center (AHR 2.56). Testing rates were low in patients with age ≥60 years, ulcerative colitis, and a history of inpatient IBD treatment. Osteoporotic patients received calcium/vitamin D and bisphosphonates in 59% and 75% of cases, respectively. Osteoporotic males had a 37% rate of hypogonadism. Guideline criteria do not distinguish patients with osteoporosis. The criteria had a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of 84%, 23%, 27%, and 81% for osteoporosis in the tested population, respectively. Conclusions: Osteoporosis is highly prevalent in the IBD population, but BMD testing and osteoporosis treatments are underutilized. Male hypogonadism is common in osteoporotic IBD patients. Guidelines do not identify IBD patients with osteoporosis. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2011

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2122-2129
Number of pages8
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • guideline
  • hypogonadism
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Gastroenterology


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