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Osteoporosis in Scleroderma

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Bone Density
Osteoporosis and Scleroderma
Media Stories
Patient Stories


Osteoporosis is when the bone density is low causing the bones to become porous and prone to fractures. In scleroderma, bone density can decrease due to certain medications, a decrease in exercise, change in diet and factors of the disease itself. It is important to discuss this with your doctor, especially if you have a history of osteoporosis in your family. ISN.

Osteoporosis occurs when the rate of bone resorption exceeds the rate of bone formation creating "porous bones." Most cases of osteoporosis occur as an acceleration of this normal aging process. The condition can also be caused by other disease processes or prolonged use of certain medications that result in bone loss. (Also see Bone Resorption)

Chronic kidney disease (CKD)-related osteoporosis is associated with incident frailty among patients with diabetic kidney disease (DKD): a propensity score-matched cohort study. CKD-related osteoporosis is associated with a higher risk of incident frailty in patients with DKD. PubMed, Osteoporos Int, 02/27/2020. (Also see Symptoms and Complications of Diabetes)

The association between irritable bowel syndrome and osteoporosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. A significantly increased risk of osteoporosis among IBS patients was observed in this study. PubMed, Osteoporos Int, 02/01/2020. (Also see Bowel Dysfunction)

Diagnosis of osteoporosis in statin-treated patients is dose-dependent. The diagnosis of osteoporosis in statin-treated patients is dose-dependent, demonstrating the importance of future studies' taking dose-dependency into account. PubMed, Ann Rheum Dis, 2019 Dec;78(12):1706-1711. (Also see Statins)

Prevalence and risk factors for osteoporosis in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a systematic review and meta-analysis. Osteoporosis is prevalent in individuals with COPD and the prevalence appears to be high and similar in many countries. PubMed, Chest, 07/25/2019.

A System to Determine Risk of Osteoporosis in Patients With Autoimmune Hepatitis. Almost 20% of patients with AIH older than 50 years have osteoporosis. PubMed, Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol, 06/01/2019. (Also see Liver and Spleen Involvement)

Management of bone health in patients with celiac disease (CD): Practical guide for clinicians. Patients with CD require adequate calcium and vitamin D supplementation, as well as monitoring of vitamin D levels and bone mineral density with regular follow–up to help prevent osteoporosis and fractures. PubMed, Can Fam Physician, 2018 Jun;64(6):433-438. (Also see Celiac Disease)

Current status of the influence of osteoporosis on periodontology and implant dentistry. The impact of osteoporosis on the periodontal and peri–implant tissues was reviewed to emphasize the importance of oral hygiene measures, and the combined medical/dental assessment when osteoporotic patients are in need of dentoalveolar surgical procedures. PubMed, Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. (Also see Dental Implants)

Bone Density

Bone Density or Bone Mineral Density (BMD) is a measurement of the compactness of the bone or the amount of bone mass per square centimeter. Bone density measurements are used to diagnosis osteopenia, osteoporosis and fracture risk. ISN.

Dietary Inflammatory Index in relation to bone mineral density (BMD), osteoporosis risk and fracture risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Our analysis indicated that diets with high pro-inflammatory components might increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures and lower BMD of lumbar spine and total hip. PubMed, Osteoporos Int, 08/01/020. (Also see Food Guide)

Short sleep may harm bone health in older women. New research in postmenopausal women has found that those who slept for no longer than 5 hours per night were most likely to have lower bone mineral density and osteoporosis. Medical News Today, 11/20/2019.

The associations of TNF-α gene polymorphisms with bone mineral density and risk of osteoporosis: A meta-analysis. The present meta-analysis demonstrated that TNF-α G308A polymorphism may act as a potential candidate biomarker for screening, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis. PubMed, Int J Rheum Dis, 07/04/2019.

Opportunistic screening for osteoporosis using thoraco-abdomino-pelvic CT-scan assessing the vertebral density in rheumatoid arthritis patients. CT offers a combined opportunistic screening for osteoporosis by assessing both vertebral fractures and bone density on routine CT-scans. PubMed, Osteoporos Int, 2019 Jun;30(6):1215-1222. (Also see Symptoms and Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Factors associated with receiving bone mineral density (BMD) screening among people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Factors known to be associated with low BMD were associated with BMD screening in people with MS, but a clinically meaningful proportion of individuals with MS who have low bone mass may be missed. PubMed, Mult Scler Relat Disord, 2019 Jan 8;28:305-308. (Also see Multiple Sclerosis)

Hormone therapy and osteoporosis in breast cancer survivors: assessment of risk and adherence to screening recommendations. The natural, age–related reduction in bone density is exacerbated by breast cancer active aromatase inhibitors treatment. PubMed, Osteoporos Int, 11/09/2018. (Also see Cancer)

When to Get Your Bone Density Tested. Updated guidelines can help women decide when to have bone density screening but may discourage men. New York Times, 07/16/2018.

Anxiety tied to fracture risk in postmenopausal women. Older women with higher levels of anxiety than their peers are also more likely to develop poor bone health that increases the risk of fractures, a small study suggests. Reuters Health, 06/13/2018. (Also see Anxiety and Attitude)

Combination therapy of anabolic agents and bisphosphonates on bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with osteoporosis: a meta–analysis of randomised controlled trials. Compared with anabolic monotherapy, the concomitant combination therapy of anabolic agents and bisphosphonates significantly improved the BMD at the total hip and femoral neck. PubMed, BMJ Open, 2018 Mar 1;8(3):e015187.

Incidence and predictors of osteoporotic fractures in patients with Barrett's oesophagus (BO): a population–based nested case–control study. The incidence of osteoporotic fractures was not increased in BO patients compared to the general population and proton pump inhibitors use was not associated with increased fracture risk. PubMed, Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 10/05/2017. (Also see Esophageal (Throat) Involvement)

Osteoporosis and Scleroderma

More Than 40% of Scleroderma Patients Have Bone Density Loss, Study Finds. More than 40% of scleroderma patients are diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis and the risk is increased by time from first symptom and with the use of immunosuppressants, a study has found. Scleroderma News, 12/15/2020.

Sarcopenia in systemic sclerosis: the impact of nutritional, clinical, and laboratory features. The results of this study demonstrated that sarcopenia correlates with different nutritional, clinical, and biochemical parameters associated with the worsening of SSc. PubMed, Rheumatol Int, 08/01/2019. (Also see Myopathy and Myositis)

Distal radius and tibia bone microarchitecture impairment in female patients with diffuse systemic sclerosis (dSSc). Bone microarchitecture in patients with dSSc showed impairment of trabecular and cortical bone at distal radius and tibia and variables associated with hand involvement and disease duration may be considered prognostic factors of this bone impairment. PubMed, Osteoporos Int, 04/27/2019.

Trabecular Bone Score (TBS) Reflects Trabecular Microarchitecture Deterioration and Fragility Fracture in Female Adult Patients Receiving Glucocorticoid Therapy: A Pre–Post Controlled Study. These findings suggested that TBS and fracture risk assessment tool adjusted with TBS (T-FRAX) could be used as an adjunct in the evaluation of risk of fragility fractures in patients receiving glucocorticoid therapy. PubMed, Biomed Res Int, 2017;2017:4210217. (Also see Osteoporosis and Glucocorticoids, Steroids (Prednisone)

Treatments for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis Treatments and Care. Osteoporosis treatments come in several forms. Many should be started during childhood; others include prescription drugs to treat osteoporosis. Get an overview. WebMD.

Case Report: Severe hypophosphataemia following oral bisphosphonate treatment in a patient with osteoporosis. Phosphate levels were quickly restored each time on replacement therapy and the case was interpreted as bisphosphonate–induced severe hypophosphataemia. PubMed, BMJ Case Rep, 2020 Oct 8;13(10):e235083.

Treatments of osteoporosis increase bone material strength index (BMSi) in patients with low bone mass. In patients at increased fracture risk, antiresorptive treatments induced BMD-independent increases in BMSi values, the magnitude of which depended on pretreatment values. PubMed, Osteoporos Int, 04/08/2020.

Factors associated with the contemplative stage of readiness to initiate osteoporosis treatment. For women at high risk for future fractures, ensuring women's recognition of their diagnosis of osteoporosis/osteopenia and addressing their concerns about osteoporosis are critical components to consider. PubMed, Osteoporos Int, 02/04/2020.

Media Stories

Osteoporosis drugs may make bones weaker. Drugs used to treat weak bones in elderly patients suffering from osteoporosis may actually make them weaker, research suggests. BBC News, 03/01/2017.

Patient Stories

Edith: MCTD with En Coup de Sabre/Parry Romberg's, Lichen Sclerosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's My GP is fabulous, but at the end of the day it is not enough. I would be lost without people like you…

Susie: CREST Syndrome I have had CREST syndrome for the past eight years. My specialist is Dr. Frederick Wigley, from Johns Hopkins…

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SCLERO.ORG was the world's leading nonprofit for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses from 1998 to 2021. It was a grassroots movement from the original Scleroderma from A to Z web site, which was founded by Shelley Ensz. We were a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation. We closed this web site and our nonprofit agency in April 2021.

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