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MS patients are at increased risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis

Several studies have shown that bone mineral density (BMD) at the femoral neck decreases with increasing physical handicap in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. BMD measurements in an unselected group of 80 fully ambulatory people with MS aged 19-50 years revealed osteopenia in 12 and osteoporosis in two participants in 2008.

In a follow up study 10 years later, of which 78 people were still alive, 70 participated (73% women). The number of patients with normal BMD both at the hip and in the lumbar spine decreased from 56-50.

The number of people with osteoporosis increased from two to six, and the number of individuals with osteopenia from 12-14.

Reduced ambulatory function was associated with osteopenia and osteoporosis.

From 2008 to 2018 the proportion of participants with optimal 25(OH) vitamin D values (≥ 75 nmol/L) at the end of winter increased from 14-50%, and the proportion with insufficient levels (< 50 nmol/L) decreased from 36-19%.

Researchers concluded preliminary analyses shows a statistically significant increase in the proportion of persons with osteopenia and osteoporosis over a 10-year period. Linear regression analysis will be applied to estimate the effects of known predictors of BMD. The proportion of patients with vitamin D levels considered optimal for persons with MS and bone health has increased.

They recommended patients with MS should be routinely screened for osteoporosis.

This study was published on the ECTRIMS 2018 online library.

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