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Rheumatol Int. 2009 Jun;29(8):897-905. doi: 10.1007/s00296-008-0804-4. Epub 2008 Dec 21.

Predictors of bone density testing in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Division of Rheumatology, Hospital for Special Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, 535 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at increased risk of low bone density and fractures. This study identifies predictors of initiation of dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) testing in RA. We identified RA patients from the CORRONA registry with >or=1 year follow-up without reported DXA at study entry. The primary outcome was report of DXA in the first year of follow-up (DXA initiation). Variables associated with DXA initiation were considered for the multivariate model. Stepwise logistic regression identified independent predictors. Of the 2,717 RA patients without DXA documented at enrollment, 297 (11%) reported DXA initiation. Independent predictors of DXA initiation included age, female sex, history of fracture, steroid use, and physician's assessment of RA activity. In conclusion, DXA initiation in RA patients in the CORRONA cohort is low despite increased risk of osteoporosis. Predictors of DXA initiation include fracture, common risk factors for osteoporosis, and RA-associated factors.

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