Background Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a known cause of joint destruction and systemic bone loss. It is now clear that the management of inflammation in RA is the key to a better control of articular damage and osteoporosis. However, systemic inflammation is not the only determinant of bone damage.
Objectives The aim of the present work is to evaluate the bone erosion and bone loss profile in RA patients.
Methods Ninety-three patients have been identified meeting the ACR EULAR criteria of RA. We have collected data about age, smoking, alcoholism, steroid prescription, body mass index (BMI), disease duration and activity (DAS28), functional disability (HAQ) and bone mineral density (BMD) measured with DXA. Bone erosion was calculated by the Sharp Van Der Heijde score. Data analysis was carried out using the SPSS 20 Software. p<0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results The mean±SD age was 51.59±12.38 years and the mean±SD disease duration 12.07±9.19 years. The mean±SD sharp score was 70.33±48.93 and 36.6% of patients had osteoporosis. The median RA diagnosis lag time was 24 months [12–72] after onset of symptoms. Bone mineral density in the femoral neck was significantly associated with Sharp score (p=0.000) and age (p=0.004), HAQ (p=0.003), disease duration (p=0.000), steroid intake (p=0.035), spine BMD (p=0.000) and BMI (p=0.044). Adjusted to age, spine BMD and BMI, femoral neck BMD (p=0.04) was an associated factor of bone damage (OR: - 0.442, 95% CI -240.24 to -19.51).
Conclusions Delayed diagnosis has led to greater bone damage in our RA population. Consequently, more efforts should be done to shorten this period in order to improve the disease control and the patients' quality of life.
Disclosure of Interest None declared