To review the extant literature relating to bone health in the idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM) including both adult and juvenile patients.
A PubMed search® identified relevant studies from 1966 to 2020 in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Two independent reviewers screened and extracted the abstracts/full manuscripts, and a third author was consulted in the case of disagreement.
We identified 37 articles (3 review articles, 2 RCTs, 9 cross-sectional, 16 cohort and 7 case-control studies). The prevalence of osteopenia (n = 7) ranges from 7 to 75% and osteoporosis (n = 7) between 13% to 27%. The prevalence of vertebral fractures ranged from 11 to 75%. Systemic inflammation likely contributes to reduced bone mineral density (BMD) in children with IIM but data is currently lacking in adult patients. Association between with impaired BMD and Vitamin D or calcium intake and physical activity has not been demonstrated in IIM. There is no clear consensus regarding the impact of age, menopause or BMI on bone health. Gender, smoking status, disease activity and inflammatory markers are not obvious independent predictors of low BMD. Several studies have demonstrated that glucocorticoids are associated with an increased risk of low BMD. There are no specific guidelines relating to the management of bone health in adult and juvenile patients with IIM.
Both adult and juvenile patients with IIM are at high risk of impaired bone health and fracture. The mechanisms behind this are likely multifactorial including systemic inflammation, glucocorticoid treatment, reduced mobility and impaired calcium/vitamin D homeostasis. There are a lack of guidelines and studies relating to the screening, prevention and treatment of impaired bone health in adult and juvenile patients with IIM. Future research is required to understand the complexity of bone health in IIM including to develop much needed disease-specific management recommendations.