Thirty-one patients with rheumatoid arthritis maintained on prednisolone 5 mg daily for an average period of 9.4 years were assessed radiologically to determine the degree of osteoporosis in their spine and peripheral skeleton. They were compared with a control group of 32 rheumatoid patients who had never received corticosteroids. The steroid-treated patients had more severe osteoporosis than the controls, though the difference was not statistically significant. In the female patients the spine appeared to be more sensitive than the peripheral skeleton to the osteoporotic effect of corticosteroids.
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