Research Reports - Prevalence of and risk factors for osteoporosis in adults with acquired brain injury

Ir J Med Sci. 2016 Jan 19. [Epub ahead of print]

Smith É(1), Comiskey C(2), Carroll Á(3).

BACKGROUND: Low bone mineral density (BMD) is common in older people with stroke,
particularly in the paretic limb. Younger people with acquired brain injury
(ABI), of all causes, are at increased risk of low BMD.
AIMS: To examine prevalence of low BMD, based on World Health Organisation
diagnostic criteria, in patients with ABI.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study of 112 ABI patients. All completed a
questionnaire, had laboratory investigations and DXA assessment of lumbar spine
and one or both hips.
RESULTS: Mean age ± SD of participants was 45.7 ± 13.7 years. Risk of vitamin D
deficiency (25-OHD < 30 nmol/L) occurred in 27.7 %, 34.3 % had adequate levels
(30-50 nmol/L) and 36.6 % had levels in excess of this. Based on T-scores, 41.1 %
had osteopenia and 21.4 % had osteoporosis. A Z score of -1 or less but greater
than -2 occurred in 25 %; a further 21.4 % had a Z score of -2 or less. Patients
who could walk outdoors had significantly higher BMD at the neck of femur than
those who walked indoors only and those who could not walk at all (p < 0.001). On
multiple linear regression analysis, ambulatory ability and duration of
disability were independent predictors of BMD at sound neck of femur and total
proximal femur.
CONCLUSIONS: Osteopenia and osteoporosis are common in young adults with ABI
compared with the general population. Bone heath monitoring should form part of
the long-term follow-up of this patient group. 

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