Background Loss of bone mineral density (BMD) and muscle mass are common symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Changes in body composition in men with RA have been little studied.
Objectives To evaluate the bone mineral density (BMD) and changes of body composition in men with RA.
Methods 49 men with RA (median disease duration 6.4 yrs) were enrolled in the study. The mean age was 60.1 + 1.02 years. A control group included 20apparently healthy men matched for age. Clinical risk factors for osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture were evaluated by a specific questionnaire, include FRAX. Whole body composition (total and regional lean mass, fat mass) and BMD of the lumbar spine (L1–L4), total hip, femoral neck and total body were measured by DXA using theStratos dR densitometer (DMS, France). The weight in kg divided by height in meters2 was used to calculate BMI. Data are presented as means ± standard deviations (SD). P values less than 0.05 are considered statistically significant.
Results The prevalence of osteoporosis in men with RA was 26.5% (13 patients), of osteopenia 34.7% (17 patients) while 38.8% were normal (19 patients). The RA group had a femoral neck BMD of 858.16 + 26.32 g/cm2, which is equal to -1.85 ± 0.52 SD, while the control group had this index of 1098.76 ± 14.54 g/cm2, which is equal to -0.4 ± 0.23 SD as shown by the T-test. Also there were significant differences inthe lumbar spine BMD among the groups (944.87 ± 17.89 g/cm2, which is equal to -1.15 ± 0.12 SD vs 1257.43 ± 21.38 g/cm2, which is equal to -0.35 ± 0.10 SD). The highest risk of osteoporosis was noted with high RA activity and X-ray stages III—IV. Total lean mass in patients with RA is reduced in comparison to the control group (62.26±1.63%vs 79.31±1.5), but total fat mass was significant higher compared to the healthy men (28.18±1.76% vs 15.98±1.82%).
Conclusions The BMD values in both the femoral neck and lumbar spine were significantly lower in the men with RA than those in the control group. The men with RA had lower total lean mass and higher total body fat mass than matched controls.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared