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04-08-2017 | Rheumatoid arthritis | Review | Article

Skeletal complications of rheumatoid arthritis

Osteoporosis International

Authors: L. Heinlen, M. B. Humphrey

Publisher: Springer London


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with local and systemic inflammation that induces many changes in the skeletal health. Locally, periarticular bone loss and juxta-articular bone erosions may occur while joint ankylosis, generalized bone loss, osteoporosis, and fractures may develop secondary to inflammation. The aim of this narrative review is to summarize the clinical evidence for abnormal skeletal health in RA, the effects of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) on bone health, and the effects of drugs for the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis in the RA population.

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