Background Osteoporosis and fractures are common and invalidating consequences of chronic glucorticoid (GC) treatment. Reliable information regarding the epidemiology of GC induced osteoporosis (GIOP) are coming exclusively from the placebo group of randomized clinical trials while observational studies are generally lacking data on the real prevalence of vertebral fractures, GC dose and primary diagnosis.
Objectives The objective of this study was to evaluate the incidence of osteoporotic fractures and to identify their major determinants (primary disease, GC dose, BMD values, specific treatment for GIOP, etc.) in a large cohort of consecutive patients aged > 21 years, on chronic treatment with GC (≥5 mg prednisone –PN- equivalent), attending rheumatology centres located all over Italy.
Methods Here the results of an interim analysis of the first 553 enrolled patients are presented. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or other Connectivites (CON), Polymialgia Rheumatica (PMR), and Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were the underlying diseases.
Conclusions In real life the prevalence of clinical fractures in patients with rheumatic diseases is high even before GC treatment and the incidence of new clinical fractures while on chronic GC treatment (PN- equivalent ≥ 5 mg/day) is somewhat lower than hitherto assumed. These results emphasize the importance of the underlying disease in the risk of GIOP associated fractures.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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