Attention to bones important in women with lupus

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Among premenopausal women taking steroids for lupus, various treatments preserve bone mineral density and “should be considered” for preventing the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis, advise researchers in a report published this month.

Lupus, technically known as systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE, is a chronic “autoimmune” disease in which the immune system can confuse healthy and foreign tissues and sometimes attacks both.

“Whether due to the corticosteroid treatment, or to the disease itself, osteoporosis is being increasingly recognized in patients with SLE,” Dr. Swan S. Yeap, of the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, and colleagues explain in the Journal of Rheumatology.

Yeap’s team assessed changes over 2 years in bone mineral density (BMD) in 98 premenopausal women with SLE on long-term steroid therapy while taking calcium only, calcium plus calcitriol (the active form of vitamin D) or calcium plus the bone-strengthening drug alendronate (Fosamax).

Women taking calcium plus alendronate saw significant increases in BMD at both the lumbar spine (2.69 percent) and hip (1.41 percent) compared to baseline, the researchers report.

In contrast, there were no significant changes found in the calcium-only and the calcium plus calcitriol groups, except for a 0.93 percent reduction in hip BMD in the calcium-only group. The medications were well tolerated.

In premenopausal women taking steroids for SLE, the researchers conclude, bone mineral density can be preserved or increased with prophylactic therapy.

SOURCE: Journal of Rheumatology, December 2008.


Related Posts:

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Eating plenty of dairy foods, meat, and other high-protein foods in childhood result in stronger and healthier bones in adolescence , a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics shows. Boys and girls who ate at least two servings of dairy a day throughout their childhood had denser bones in their

Full Post: Dairy foods help kids build stronger bones

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - It has been known for a while that injections of a class of anti-osteoporosis drugs might trigger jaw bone decay after certain dental procedures, and now it seems that pill forms of the so-called bisphosphonate medications could have the same side effect. Specifically, a study conducted at the University of Southern

Full Post: Bone strengthening pills linked to jaw bone damage

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Computed tomography (CT) of the chest can serve a dual purpose in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), measuring both the severity of emphysema and vertebral bone density, physicians in Japan report. Many features besides the lung are associated with COPD, indicating it is a systemic disease, Dr. Toyohiro Hirai

Full Post: CT imaging useful to measure bone loss in COPD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People with Parkinson’s disease have an elevated risk of developing fragile bones and fractures over time — a problem that deserves more attention, according to a new report. Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder in which movement-regulating cells in the brain die off or become disabled, leading to symptoms like tremors,

Full Post: Parkinson’s disease puts bones, joints at risk

By Megan Rauscher NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Results of a brain imaging study suggest that the brain may be affected very early in the course of lupus, even before the disease is diagnosed. Lupus, technically known as systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE, is a chronic “autoimmune” disease in which the immune system can confuse healthy and

Full Post: Lupus affects the brain very early in the disease

Site Navigation

Most Read