Background: Current literature has shown that non-cirrhotic chronic hepatitis can be associated with reduced bone mineral density (BMD). On the other hand, a significant fall in BMD has been observed during pregnancy as part of its physiological changes. The objective was to evaluate the association between BMD changes and chronic hepatitis B carrier status in low risk pregnant women.
Methods: Consecutive patients were recruited from a general obstetric clinic over a period of 9 months. Quantitative USG measurements of BMD were performed at the os calcis bilaterally between 14-20 weeks, and at 36-38 weeks. All women were routinely screened for chronic hepatitis B carrier status at booking and their hepatitis (HbsAg)carrier status was correlated with BMD changes.
Results: A total of 390 women were recruited, and the mean BMD loss from early to late pregnancy was 0.0301 g/cm2, SD 0.043. There were 34 chronic hepatitis B antigen (HbsAg) carriers within this cohort (8.7%). There were no significant differences in the age, parity, height and early pregnancy body mass index between the HbsAg carriers and non-carriers. There were no significant differences in the early pregnancy mean BMD value in the HbsAg group as compared with the non-carrier group (0.602 Vs 0.591 g/cm2)(p=0.56), nor in the mean BMD loss detected during pregnancy (0.035 Vs 0.029 g/cm2) (p=0.47).
Conclusion: Chronic hepatitis B antigen carrier status had no effect on the physiological fall in BMD during pregnancy.
Disclosure: The authors declared no competing interests.