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J Bone Miner Metab. 2000;18(6):350-2.

Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis: pathogenesis and management.

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Department of Clinical Immunology, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, Beppu, Japan.


Glucocorticoid- (GC-) induced osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures are one of the most serious problems for patient using long-term GC therapy, such as those with rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, bronchial asthma, and chronic lung diseases. GCs are known to affect both bone formation and resorption. In rheumatoid arthritis, the etiology of bone loss is multifactorial, including local inflammation around joints, release of bone-absorbing cytokines, physical inactivity, and malnutrition, in addition to the use of GC. Two guidelines have been published, by the American College of Rheumatology Task Force in 1966 and by the UK Consensus Group in 1998. Both guidelines recommend that patients 'receiving GC therapy at doses of 7.5 mg/day of prednisolone or more for 6 months or longer should have their bone mineral density measured and begin preventive therapies. Calcium and vitamin D supplements, sex hormone replacement, and weight-bearing exercise are the first-line therapies. For patients who are unable to take sex hormone replacement therapy (HRT), bisphosphonates are recommended by both guidelines. In this article, we briefly summarize the pathogenesis of GC-induced osteoporosis and its prevention and treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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