Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 11, pp 3387–3391 | Cite as

Bone Density in Adolescents and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Laya Ekhlaspour
  • Charumathi Baskaran
  • Karen Joanie Campoverde
  • Natalia Cano Sokoloff
  • Ann M. Neumeyer
  • Madhusmita Misra
Original Paper


Patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at increased risk for fracture, and peri-pubertal boys with ASD have lower bone mineral density (BMD) than controls. Data are lacking regarding BMD in older adolescents with ASD. We compared BMD using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in 9 adolescents/young adults with ASD against 9 typically developing matched controls. Patients with ASD and controls were excluded if they had other underlying conditions that may affect bone. Compared to controls, patients with ASD had (i) lower femoral neck and hip BMD Z-scores, and (ii) lower spine, femoral neck and hip height adjusted BMD Z-scores even after controlling for BMI. Understanding the underlying pathophysiology will be key to developing therapies to improve BMD and reduce fracture risk.


Autism spectrum disorder Bone mineral density Adolescent Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry Body mass index 


Author Contributions

MM and AMN conceived the study and interpreted the data. LE, CB, KJC and NCS collected the data and interpreted the data. LE and KJC performed the statistical analysis. LE and CB drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Supplementary material

10803_2016_2871_MOESM1_ESM.docx (11 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 11 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pediatric Endocrine UnitMassachusetts General Hospital for Children and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Neuroendocrine UnitMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  3. 3.Lurie Center for AutismMassachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolLexingtonUSA

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