Hand cortical bone mass and its associations with radiographic joint damage and fractures in 50-70 year old female patients with rheumatoid arthritis: cross sectional Oslo-Truro-Amsterdam (OSTRA) collaborative study.
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or =5 years, recruited from three European rheumatology clinics. Metacarpal hand BMD was measured by digital hand x ray radiogrammetry (DXR), and hip and lumbar spine BMD by dual x ray absorptiometry (DXA). Multiple regression analyses were used to examine associations between hand BMD and radiographic joint damage, and hand BMD and fractures. RESULTS: Hand BMD was strongly and independently associated with radiographic hand joint damage in a linear regression model adjusted for age, centre, BMI, disease duration, RF, 18 deformed joint count, ESR, and femoral neck BMD. In a multivariate logistic regression model adjusted for relevant variables, hand BMD and femoral neck BMD, but not spine BMD, were independently associated with vertebral deformities and with non-vertebral fractures. CONCLUSION: BMD measured by DXR on conventional hand radiographs in patients with RA may potentially be used as an indicator of joint damage and of vertebral and non-vertebral fracture risk.