Study shows vitamin D deficiency in IBD patients may lead to osteoporosis

A new study presented at the American College of Gastroenterology's 75th Annual Scientific meeting suggests that vitamin D deficiency puts patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) at greater risk of osteoporosis, osteopenia and an overall higher rate of abnormal bone density.

The study found that of the 161 IBD patients in the group, reduction in bone density with a diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia was found in 22 percent of these patients, 50 percent of whom were under age 50.

Children and adults with IBD, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, participated in the study between 2008 and 2010.

According the study, Crohn's disease patients with vitamin D deficiency were four times more likely to have a higher rate of abnormal bone density exams compared to patients with ulcerative colitis.

"This finding is not surprising since Crohn's disease usually affects the small intestine, which is the part of the gut that absorbs the most nutrients," said Dr Bincy P. Abraham, assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and director in the Baylor Clinic Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program. "The widespread malabsorption in Crohn's disease does not occur in ulcerative colitis, which involves only the colon." 
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