Background Atherosclerosis and osteoporosis share an age-independent bidirectional correlation. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) represents a risk factor for both conditions. So far, only hip and lumbar spine indices were used in clinical studies.
Objectives The study aims to evaluate the connection between the estimated cardiovascular risk (CVR) and the loss of whole body bone tissue in RA patients.
Methods Prospective cross-sectional design; female in-patients with RA or without autoimmune diseases; bone tissue was measured using whole body dual X-ray absorptiometry (wbDXA); CVR was estimated using SCORE charts and PROCAM applications.
Results There were 75 RA women and 66 normal women of similar age. The wbDXA bone indices correlate significantly, negatively and age-independently with the estimated CVR. The whole body bone percent (wbBP) was a significant predictor of estimated CVR, explaining 26% of SCORE variation along with low density lipoprotein (p<0.001) and 49.7% of PROCAM variation along with glycemia and menopause duration (p<0.001). Although obese patients had less bone relative to body composition (wbBP), in terms of absolute quantity their bone content was significantly higher than that of non-obese patients (p<0.001).
Conclusions Female patients with RA and female patients with cardiovascular morbidity have a lower whole body bone percent. Obese female individuals have higher whole body bone mass than non-obese patients. The study suggests a common pathogenic process involving whole body bone tissue and atherosclerosis.
Farhat GN, Cauley JA. The link between osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab 2008; 5(1): 19-34.
Shibuya K, Hagino H, Morio Y et al., Cross-sectional and longitudinal study of osteoporosis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Rheumatol 2002; 21(2): 150-8.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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