Osteoporosis and bone metabolism in postmenopausal women with osteoarthritis of the hand

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Objective:Osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are two major health problems affecting postmenopausal women. Epidemiological observations seem to demonstrate a possible inverse relationship between osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Erosive osteoarthritis (EOA) of the hand is a destructive form of primary osteoarthritis. This study evaluated bone mineral density and bone metabolism changes in erosive and nonerosive hand osteoarthritis women.Design:Fifty-five women (mean age, 59 years; body mass index, 23 ± 1.4 kg/m2) who had been postmenopausal for an average of 9 years and who presented with hand osteoarthritis according to American College of Rheumatology criteria were enrolled in the study; 15 women showed clinical and radiological evidence of hand EOA. Twenty women matched for age, age at menopause, and body mass index formed the control group. Bone mineral density (g/cm2) was measured at the hip and lumbar spine using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Serum and urinary calcium and phosphate, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone, osteocalcin, and urinary breakdown products of bone matrix (CrossLaps) were analyzed.Results:Women with hand EOA had a statistically significant lower T- and Z-score L2-L4 value than non-hand EOA women and controls (P < 0.01). Moreover, postmenopausal women with hand EOA had higher significant percentage of osteoporosis at lumbar spine when compared with non-hand EOA postmenopausal women and controls. Any statistically significant difference in osteocalcin and CrossLaps serum levels was noted among women with hand EOA, hand osteoarthritis, and controls.Conclusions:Our data suggest that postmenopausal women with clinical and radiological EOA are at risk for development of osteoporosis.

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