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Ann Rheum Dis 68:1512-1513 doi:10.1136/ard.2008.105957
  • Letter

High prevalence of vertebral deformities in elderly patients with early rheumatoid arthritis

  1. J Ursum1,
  2. K Britsemmer2,
  3. D van Schaardenburg1,2,
  4. P T A Lips2,
  5. B A C Dijkmans1,2,
  6. W Lems1,2
  1. 1
    Jan van Breemen Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2
    VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr J Ursum, Department of Rheumatology, Jan van Breemen Institute, 1056 AB Amsterdam, The Netherlands; J.Ursum{at}janvanbreemen.nl
  • Accepted 4 January 2009

Generalised osteoporosis and local bone loss is a well-known complication of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Vertebral fractures are the most common type of osteoporotic fracture and are associated with increased mortality and morbidity.1 The presence of vertebral fractures increases the risk of new vertebral and non-vertebral fractures.2 The prevalence of vertebral deformities in the Dutch population aged over 55 years in women and men is 15% and 12%, respectively.3 For patients with established RA (mean duration 16.6 years), an odds ratio for vertebral deformities of 2.0 was found,4 leading to an expected prevalence of vertebral deformities in elderly RA patients of 30% and 24% for women and men, respectively. As data …