(HealthDay News) – Patients with celiac disease with persistent villous atrophy (VA) are at higher risk of developing hip fractures compared with patients with mucosal healing, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Benjamin Lebwohl, MD, from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues analyzed follow-up biopsy samples from 7,146 Swedish patients with celiac disease for persistent VA or mucosal healing and its association with fracture risk.

During a median of 10.3 years after diagnosis and 8.6 years after follow-up biopsy, the researchers found that 43% of patients had VA. Persistent VA was associated with a significantly higher risk of hip fracture (hazard ratio, 1.67). The risk depended on the degree of VA, being lower for partial (hazard ratio, 1.7) and higher for full (hazard ratio, 2.16). There was no significant association between VA and the risk of overall fractures or likely osteoporotic fractures.

“In conclusion, we found that the results of the follow-up biopsy is predictive of hip fractures, but not of fractures overall, in patients with celiac disease,” Lebwohl and colleagues write.

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