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July 18, 1986

Osteopenia and Bone Fractures in a Man With Anorexia Nervosa and Hypogonadism

Author Affiliations

From the General Medicine Unit (Dr Rigotti), the Mineral Metabolism Unit (Dr Neer), and the Laboratory of Molecular Endocrinology (Dr Jameson), Medical Service, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

JAMA. 1986;256(3):385-388. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380030087034

Women with anorexia nervosa have reduced skeletal mass. Both anorexia and osteopenia are less common in men. We describe a 22-year-old man with anorexia nervosa and severe osteopenia involving both cortical and trabecular bone who developed a pelvic fracture and multiple vertebral compression fractures. He was found to have secondary hypogonadotropic hypogonadism that was reversible with weight gain. This case illustrates the need to consider osteopenia as a potential complication of anorexia nervosa in males as well as females.

(JAMA 1986;256:385-388)