ABSTRACT: As survival improves in beta-thalassaemia, osteoporosis is emerging as a significant problem. This study examines bone mineral density (BMD) of thalassaemic patients of Asian origin (age range 9.5-24 y) to evaluate the extent of problems in this group and identify potential risk factors. Eleven patients were scanned using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. BMD z-scores and the bone mineral apparent density (BMAD) z-scores were calculated, to correct for short stature. All but three patients had lumbar spine BMD and BMAD z-scores below the mean. Three patients had BMAD z-scores more than 2.5 standard deviations below the mean. A negative correlation between age and BMAD was seen, as was an association between endocrine disorders and decreased bone density. CONCLUSION: The data confirm significant reductions in BMD in the Asian thalassaemic population, even after correcting for body size. Further research is needed to identify risk factors and means of prevention.
Acta Paediatrica 12/2001; 90(11):1262-6. · 2.07 Impact Factor