Although estrogen replacement drugs are often given to anorexic women to prevent bone loss and lower their risk of fracture, the results of a new study suggest that the hormone does not work and has no effect on bone density.
Researchers measured bone density at several skeletal locations in 130 anorexic women in their mid 20s.
*92% had substantial bone loss in at least one site
*8% had bone loss severe enough to qualify as osteoporosis
“Bone mineral density did not differ by history of estrogen use at any site,” the study authors report.
While estrogen use was not related to bone density, several other factors were:
*Age at first period
*Amount of time that had lapsed since women had their last menstrual period were factors associated with bone density
In addition to the estrogen, calcium and vitamin D supplements did not improve bone density either.
Annals of Internal Medicine November 21, 2000; 133: 790-794