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J Clin Rheumatol. 2016 Mar;22(2):71-4. doi: 10.1097/RHU.0000000000000359.

Bone Mineral Density in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis and 4-Year Follow-up Results.

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From the *First Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University Medical College; †Shantou University Medical College; and ‡Department of Rheumatology, First Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University Medical College, Guangdong Province, China.



Osteoporosis is a common complication in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The change of bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with RA is slow, and little data are known about the long-term change of BMD.


This study aimed to determine the frequency of osteoporosis and the long-term change on BMD in a cohort of Chinese patients with RA routinely receiving calcium and vitamin D supplementation.


A total of 304 consecutive patients with RA were recruited. Bone mineral density measurements of the forearm, lumbar spine, and total hip were performed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and compared with 200 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Risk factors were analyzed by logistic regression models.


The prevalence of osteoporosis at all measured sites in patients with RA was statistically significantly higher than in healthy controls. A total of 107 patients of the cohort had a mean of 4 years of follow-up. More patients with BMD decrease were found without calcium and vitamin D use compared with those who continuously took calcium and vitamin D (64.3% vs 19.8% at the forearm and 28.6% vs 16.1% at the total hip, respectively). Only the use of calcium and vitamin D supplementation was associated with a decreased risk of BMD decrease both at the forearm and at the total hip.


Osteoporosis is common in Chinese patients with RA. Routine use of calcium and vitamin D supplementation decreased the risk of BMD decrease and should be recommended for all patients with RA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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