Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 201–208 | Cite as

Prevalence of decreased bone mass in rheumatoid arthritis. Relation to anti-inflammatory treatment

  • O. Skibsted Als
  • C. Christiansen
  • C. Hellesen


The bone mineral content (BMC) in both forearms (highly correlated to total body calcium) was measured by photon absorptiometry in a representative sample of rheumatoid arthritis outpatients comprising 129 patients treated with either gold salts (n=29), penicillamine (n=61), prednisone (n=24), or other anti-RA drugs (n=15). The mean BMC value was 84% of normal (p<0.001) with the lowest mean value in the group treated with prednisone (73% of normal). The patients as a group had hypocalcaemia (p<0.001), raised serum alkaline phosphatase (p<0.001), and normal urinary excretion rates of calcium and hydroxyproline. These results indicate that RA patients have disturbances in their calcium and bone metabolism.

Key words

Bone Mineral Content Calcium Metabolism Prednisone Rheumatoid Arthritis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Skibsted Als
    • 1
  • C. Christiansen
    • 1
  • C. Hellesen
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Clinical Chemistry and Rheumatism & Rehabilitation, Glostrup HospitalUniversity of CopenhagenDenmark

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