Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a known cause of joint destruction and systemic bone loss. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the bone damage and bone loss profiles of established RA patients.
We designed a cross-sectional study on a cohort of established RA patients. The bone evaluation was performed by obtaining standard X-ray images of hands and feet combined with bone mineral density (BMD) measurements. Radiographic joint damage was calculated by the modified total Sharp /van der Heijde score (mTSS). BMD was obtained by performing dual energy X-ray absorptiometry of the lumbar spine and femoral neck. Data on age, smoking, alcoholism, steroid prescription, body mass index (BMI), disease duration, disease activity, and functional disability were collected.
A total of 93 RA patients were recruited. Their mean age was 51.59±12.38 years, with a mean disease duration of 12.07±9.19 years. A total of 36.6% of patients had osteoporosis, and the mean mTSS was 70.33±48.93. Both hip (P=0.0005) and lumbar BMD (P=0.0005) were correlated with mTSS. Backward regression analyses determined that bone damage was associated with high titers of rheumatoid factor, low lumbar BMD, and low BMI. General bone loss was associated with gender, steroid dose, steroid duration, menopause, and BMI.
Bone damage was associated with low BMI and axial bone loss in our RA population.