A case report of a 53 year old postmenopausal woman with severe osteoporosis occurring in association with beta thalassemia trait is presented. She was found to have marked axial osteopenia with lumbar spine bone mineral density that was more than three standard deviations below the mean, but had normal bone mineral density of the proximal radius. A biopsy of the iliac crest showed evidence of high turnover osteoporosis. Bone densitometry of the spine and hip in a consecutive series of eleven asymptomatic individuals with thalassemia trait also is reported. Bone mineral density was diminished in the spine (z-score = -0.78, P <0.03) and hip (z score = -0.54, P = 0.05) of patients with thalassemia trait. It is postulated that thalassemia minor may be a risk factor for osteoporosis.
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