Anemia and Osteoporosis: Is There a Connection?

Study Examines Bone Mineral Density and Anemia in Postmenopausal Women

Anemia defined with a blood vialResearchers looked at the link between bone mineral density (BMD) and anemia in postmenopausal women (with and without osteoporosis) in Turkey.

Their results will appear in the article “Anemia as a risk factor for low bone mineral density in postmenopausal Turkish women” in the March 2012 edition of the European Journal of Internal Medicine.

A total of 371 postmenopausal women participated in this study.

Using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), the research team determined whether the women had either osteopenia or osteoporosis. They also measured hemoglobin levels in the study participants to determine whether the women had anemia.

Out of all of the study participants, 82 had anemia.

Researchers grouped the women with osteopenia or osteoporosis (T-score <-1.0 SD) as having low bone mass (LBM).

The researchers found that the women with anemia had a significantly longer duration of menopause; they also found that the anemic women were older.

When the research team compared the anemic women with the participants who had normal hemoglobin levels, they found that the women with anemia had significantly lower femur T-scores, femur BMD, femur Z-scores, spinal T-scores, spinal BMD, and spinal Z-scores (p<0.001).

The research team also found that the ratio of study participants who had LBM in the femur (p<0.002) and spine (p<0.002) was significantly higher in the women who had anemia.

Researchers also noted that when using bi-variate correlation analysis in the study population, there was a significant relationship between hemoglobin levels and femur T-scores (r=0.150; p=0.004), femur BMD (r=0.148; p=0.004), spine T-scores (r=0.160; p=0.002), and spine BMD (r=0.164; p=0.001).

Additionally, they found that when using logistic regression analysis, anemia was an independent predictor of LBM of the spine (odds ratio: 2.483; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.309 to 4.712; p<0.005).

Furthermore, the research team found that the number of anemic women was significantly higher in both the low femur BMD group (56 vs 26; p=0.01) and spine BMD group (66 vs 16; p=0.002).

They concluded that anemia is an independent predictor of low bone mass in the spine after adjusting for body mass index and other confounders in postmenopausal women living in Turkey.

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