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Clin Rheumatol. 2011 Aug;30(8):1105-11. doi: 10.1007/s10067-011-1748-8. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

Fracture risk assessment and osteoporosis treatment disparities in 3,970 Japanese patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Institute of Rheumatology, Tokyo Women's Medical University, 10-22 Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


The aims of this study are to determine the proportion of patients at high risk for major osteoporotic and hip fractures in a Japanese cohort with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to determine if a care gap exists for high-risk patients. The Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX®) was administered to 3,970 Japanese patients with RA enrolled in the Institute of Rheumatology Rheumatoid Arthritis cohort study with (n=276) and without (n=3,694) the use of bone mineral density (BMD) measurement. The study population had a mean age of 62 years and was 84% female. Among the 1,522 patients ≥65 years of age, 661 (43%) and 1,304 (86%) were at high risk for a major osteoporotic fracture (10-year probability >20%) and hip fracture (>3%), respectively. Among patients at high risk for a major osteoporotic fracture (n=723), only 453 (63%) and 320 (44%) reported taking any osteoporosis medications and bisphosphonates, respectively. Among female patients with BMD measurements (n=262), the 10-year risk of a major osteoporotic fracture calculated with BMD was significantly higher than in those without BMD measurements (P<0.001). The FRAX identified a substantial proportion of elderly Japanese RA patients with a high risk of fractures. A substantial gap exists between fracture risk and osteoporosis treatment in Japanese RA patients, as previously reported for patients of other ethnicities. In addition, the gap may be underestimated when BMD measurements are not involved in the fracture risk assessment.

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