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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2011 Sep-Oct;29(5):835-8. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Use of osteoporosis drugs in patients with recent-onset rheumatoid arthritis in Finland.

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  • 1Rehabilitation Unit, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.



We investigated the implementation of pharmaceutical osteoporosis (OP) prevention in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Finland.


All incident RA cases from 2000 to 2007 were identified using the national register of the Social Insurance Institution (SII) as the sole source. The use of calcium and vitamin D preparations and OP drugs during the first year was evaluated.


A total of 14,878 incident RA patients were found. They had a mean age of 56 (SD 15) and 68% were female. Nine per cent of the total number, which equated to 11% for women and to 5% men, had purchased OP drugs. The use of OP drugs increased over time: in the 2006-2007 period, relative risk (RR) for purchase was 1.62 (95% CI 1.38-1.92) for women and 2.1 (1.34-3.30) for men compared to the 2000-2001 period. Over the 2000-2005 period, 49% of females and 52% of males used glucocorticoids (GCs) during the first year. Among the GC-users, 38% of women and 24% of men also received calcium and vitamin D preparations by prescription, and 14% of women and 6% of men also used OP drugs. For GC users, the female sex, and older age increased the risk for OP use: the respective RRs were 1.45 (95% CI 1.31-1.61), 2.54 (95% CI 2.21-2.91), and 1.060 (95% CI 1.057-1.065).


Patients with early RA are increasingly receiving OP drugs, and the use is more frequent among patients with known risk factors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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