Significantly Increased Fracture Risk With Self-Reported Arthritis

Aug 26, 2011

Self-reported arthritis is associated with significantly increased fracture risk in postmenopausal women who report osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Self-reported arthritis is associated with significantly increased fracture risk in postmenopausal women who report osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The increase in fracture risk confirms the importance of fracture prevention in patients who have these conditions.

Wright and colleagues evaluated the association between arthritis and fracture prospectively using data from the Women's Health Initiative. The arthritis exposure variable consisted of 3 categories-no arthritis, OA, and RA. The patients self-reported clinical fractures during periodic medical updates.

The age-adjusted rate per 100 person-years for sustaining total fractures was 2.11 in the nonarthritic control group, compared with 2.51 in the OA group and 3.64 in the RA group. The age-adjusted spine fracture rate increased from 0.19 to 0.26 per 100 person-years between the control group and the OA group and to 0.50 per 100 person-years in the RA group. There was no difference in hip fracture rates between the control group and the OA group, but there was an increase in the hip fracture rate in the RA group.

The authors noted that their results may represent the consequences related to behavioral and physiological changes that occur in persons who perceive articular discomfort that they classify as arthritis.

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