Background Beyond 50, at least one out of three women and one out of eight men will develop an osteoporosis-induced bone fracture.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an auto-immune disease which affects around 300,000 persons in France. This painful and disabling condition is the most common chronic inflammatory joint disease.
RA increases the risk of bone weakness and, therefore, of bone fracture. This increased susceptibility is due to the chronic inflammatory activity which characterizes RA. Others factors may also contribute such as : menopause, corticotherapy and decrease in physical activity.
AFLAR, created in 1928 to promote the fight against osteoarthritis (osteoarthrosis), is the only French non-profit organization helping patients with osteoporosis. Since 1984, ANDAR has been helping RA patients to raise awareness about their disease and has been supporting them throughout their daily difficulties.
Objectives To inform RA patients about the prevention of osteoporosis-induced complications (especially bone fractures), these two non-profit organisations joined their efforts in 2012 to publish a leaflet entitled « Together against the first bone fracture ».
Methods An editorial committee was created with representatives of AFLAR and ANDAR, proof-reading patients, two rheumatologists and a physical therapist specializing in osteoporosis and RA. This committee agreed on prevention and awareness messages about osteoporosis to be communicated to RA patients, and on the leaflet summary. Later, committee members validated the content and lay-out of the leaflet.
Results AFLAR and ANDAR produced a leaflet on a theme which has rarely been put forward with RA patients. This document explores : the links between RA and osteoporosis-induced fractures (chronic inflammatory activity, corticotherapy, lack of physical activity, menopause), the general risk factors of osteoporosis, the evaluation of bone quality (bone densitometry) and osteoporosis prevention measures (balanced diet, regular physical activity, vitamin D supplementation).
Conclusions This leaflet is an information and prevention tool which stresses a concern rarely mentioned to RA patients. Its richness stems from the joint efforts of patients, patient organizations and healthcare professionals involved in the medical care of osteoporosis and RA.
Dargent-Molina P. Epidémiologie et facteurs de risque de l’ostéoporose. La Revue de Médecine Interne 25(2004) S517-S525
Acknowledgements This leaflet was published with Chugai Pharma France financial support.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared