Rheumatology International

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 73–76 | Cite as

Generalized osteoporosis in non-steroid treated rheumatoid arthritis

  • M. Magaro
  • A. Tricerri
  • D. Piane
  • A. Zoli
  • F. Serra
  • L. Altomonte
  • L. Mirone


To investigate the presence of reduced bone mineral density (BMD) and to assess determinants of bone loss in rheumatoid arthritis, 45 female patients suffering from non-steroid treated rheumatoid arthritis were submitted to dual photon absorptiometry of the lumbar spine and to laboratory tests for calcium metabolism. The rheumatoid arthritis patients were divided into two groups according to anatomic grade and functional class; no abnormalities in calcium metabolism were defected whereas BMD was significantly lower in the third and fourth grade and in the third and fourth class patients (P<0.005 versus controls, versus grades I and II and versus classes 1 and 2). BMD was significantly correlated with age (P<0.001) and years postmenopausal (P<0.01), but not with duration of disease. By multiple inear regression we derived an equation predictive of BMD. Osteoporosis in rheumatoid arthritis is observed even in non-corticosteroid treated patients; articular lesions with subsequent reduction in physical activity appear to play an important role in axial bone loss in rheumatoid arthritis.

Key words

Rheumatoid arthritis Osteoporosis Dual photon absorptiometry 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Magaro
    • 1
  • A. Tricerri
    • 1
  • D. Piane
    • 1
  • A. Zoli
    • 1
  • F. Serra
    • 1
  • L. Altomonte
    • 1
  • L. Mirone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of RheumatologyCatholic University of Sacred HeartRomeItaly

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