BACKGROUND: Low bone density and osteoporosis have been demonstrated in celiac disease populations in Europe, South America and the United States. Serological testing with tissue transglutaminase (TTG) and immunoglobulin A endomysial (EMA) antibodies is highly specific for celiac disease, while antigliadin antibody (AGA) testing is less specific.OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association of celiac serology with reduced bone density in adult women.METHODS: A clinical database containing all bone density testing data in the province of Manitoba was linked to a database containing all celiac serology data for the province. The study cohort consisted of 376 women older than 20 years of age with bone density measurements preceding initial celiac serology by six months or less. Bone density was assessed in relation to TTG/EMA and AGA seropositivity, and compared with seronegative controls in age-, height- and weight-adjusted models.RESULTS: There was significantly lower bone density in TTG/EMA seropositive women than with seronegative controls for all sites tested (lumbar spine, total hip, trochanter, femoral neck; all P<0.05). TTG/EMA seropositive women also had a significantly higher prevalence of osteoporosis (67.7% versus 44.8%; P<0.05). There was lower bone density at the three hip sites (all P<0.05) in AGA seropositive women, but after excluding TTG/EMA seropositive women, isolated AGA seropositivity showed no significant association with any bone density measurements.CONCLUSION: TTG/EMA seropositivity was associated with lower bone density and a higher prevalence of osteoporosis compared with seronegative controls.