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01.12.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2017

Archives of Osteoporosis 1/2017

Prevalence and risk factors associated with glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in Chinese patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Archives of Osteoporosis > Ausgabe 1/2017
Can-chen Ma, Sheng-qian Xu, Xun Gong, Ying Wu, Shan Qi, Wen Liu, Jian-hua Xu



Usage of glucocorticoid (GC) is a strong risk factor of osteoporosis (OP) and osteoporotic fracture (OPF) in Chinese patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Controlling GC daily dosage and shortening GC course are helpful in preventing glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (GIOP) and OPF for Chinese patients with RA.


This study aims to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of GIOP, and also identify influences of GC daily dosage and GC treatment course for GIOP in Chinese patients with RA.


Seven hundred and ninety patients with RA and 158 normal subjects were enrolled in the study. Clinical and laboratory features and medications of GC were recorded in detail. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry in all subjects.


BMD at all measured sites in RA was significantly lower than that in control group. Prevalence of OP was obviously higher in RA with GC group (41.6%), compared with RA without GC group (29.4%). Prevalence of OPF in group of RA with GC (21.0%) was higher than that in group of RA without GC (13.3%). Usage of GC, female, and age were risk factors for the occurrence of OP and OPF in RA, while body mass index (BMI) was the protective factor of OP. Prevalence of GIOP and OPF had statistical significance among groups of different treatment courses with GC, whereas no statistical difference was found among groups with different daily dosages of GC.


GIOP exists generally in Chinese patients with RA, which relates to treatment course not daily dosage of GC. Usage of GC is also the risk factor for the happening of OPF in Chinese patients with RA.

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