Most prospective studies of bone mineral density (BMD) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients have been of relatively short duration, with a maximum of 6 years. To describe long-term changes in BMD in women with SLE and identify risk factors associated with BMD loss. We retrospectively evaluated 132 adult Mexican-Mestizo women with SLE who underwent dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Demographic and clinical data were collected and BMD at the lumbar spine (L1-L4) and total hip were collected at baseline and during the follow up. At baseline, the mean age of participants was 43.4 ± 12.5 years, 50.8% had osteopenia and 11% osteoporosis. The median follow-up was 13 (IQR 10.2-14.0) years. During follow up, 79% of patients used glucocorticoid (GCT). The mean percentage of changes in BMD during follow up were: – 14.03 ± 11.25% (- 1.49%/year) at the lumbar spine, and – 15.77 ± 11.57% (- 1.78%/year) at the total hip, with significant changes (p < 0.001 for both comparisons). Multivariate analysis showed older age, GCT use at baseline, and transition to the menopause during the follow-up were significantly associated with greater reductions in BMD. This retrospective longitudinal study found significant BMD loss at the lumbar spine and hip. Older age, menopausal transition and GCT use were independently associated with BMD decline in women with SLE.
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