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Low Bone Mass Seen Early in Multiple Sclerosis

MS patients have lower bone mineral density in left femoral hip and lumbar spine than controls

THURSDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Newly diagnosed patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) with no or minor physical disability seem to have low bone mass, according to a study published in the July 12 issue of Neurology.

Stine M. Moen, M.D., from the Oslo University Hospital Ulleval in Norway, and colleagues examined bone mineral density (BMD) in patients at early stages of MS with no or minor disability, to determine if skeletal consequences were observable shortly after the onset of MS. The BMD of 99 patients with clinically isolated syndrome or MS and 159 controls matched by age, gender, and ethnicity was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry of the femoral neck, total hip, anterior-posterior lumbar spine, total body, and nondominant ultradistal radius.

The investigators found that significantly more patients with MS exhibited either osteopenia or osteoporosis in at least one skeletal site compared with controls (50.5 versus 37.1 percent). Patients had significantly lower left femoral total hip T score and lumbar spine BMD and T score than controls after adjusting for confounders.

"Low bone mass appears to occur early in MS. This is compatible with shared etiologic or pathogenic factors in MS and osteoporosis, and calls for an active approach to optimize bone health in early stages of MS," the authors write.

Several of the study authors disclosed financial ties with the pharmaceutical industry.

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