Online first

Acta Reumatológica Portuguesa - Online First: 2021-11-02
Carta ao editor

Bone mineral density and fracture risk in a cohort of Portuguese systemic sclerosis patients

Garcia S, Fernandes B, Ganhão S, Rato M, Pinheiro F, Terroso G, Bernardes M


Patients with Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) seem to have higher prevalence of low bone mineral density (BMD) and spine fracture risk. We performed a transversal study including patients with the diagnosis of SSc to determine, by conventional densitometry and using the fracture risk assessment tool (FRAX), the prevalence of low BMD and the fracture risk, respectively, in a SSc Portuguese cohort and its potential determinants. Ninety-seven patients were included; 88.7% females (n=86) with median age of 62 years [56, 70]. Low BMD was present in 45 patients (46.4%). BMD in the femoral neck (FN) presented a weak positive correlation with body mass index (BMI) and the risk for major fracture with and without BMD presented a positive correlation with spine fractures. No correlations were found between BMD-FN and disease manifestations. Our results showed that low BMD is prevalent in SSc patients and may be associated with low BMI. FRAX appears to be an useful instrument as it correlates with spine fracture risk and with BMD. This is the first study in Portugal evaluating prevalence of low BMD and fracture risk in a Portuguese SSc cohort.