Author(s): Orsini LG, Pinheiro MM, Castro CH, Silva AE, Szejnfeld VL
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: The high prevalence of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and its consequent cirrhosis has been associated with bone fragility. Whether CHC may cause bone and mineral abnormalities in the absence of hepatocellular dysfunction is still unknown. In this study we aimed to determine the prevalence of osteoporotic vertebral fractures and low BMD measurements in men with non-cirrhotic CHC. Risk factors for low BMD and fractures were also investigated. METHODS: Morphometric vertebral fractures and BMD measurements were performed in 60 non-cirrhotic untreated men with CHC and 59 healthy controls, matched for age and gender, weight and current smoking. Serum CTx, calcium, phosphate, intact PTH, alkaline phosphatase and vitamin D (25OHD) concentrations were measured in all participants. Clinical risk factors for low BMD and fractures were evaluated by a structured questionnaire as well as details regarding HCV infection. RESULTS: Trochanter and total femur BMD were significantly lower in CHC patients as compared to healthy men (p = 0.04). In men 50 years and older, the prevalence of osteoporosis was significantly higher among CHC patients (p = 0.01). Lower levels of physical activities and more often report of prolonged immobilization were observed among CHC patients (p<0.05). Liver inflammation and fibrosis, viral load and genotype did not correlate with BMD measurements. Bone markers and 25OHD concentrations were similar in both groups. Only a few vertebral fractures were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that non-cirrhotic untreated CHC patients have lower BMD at the femur as compared to healthy men in spite of the absence of significant bone and mineral abnormalities.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics