In a population-based study, the incidence of osteoporotic fractures in patients who have been diagnosed as having rheumatoid arthritis was investigated. This incidence was found to be increased, though not dramatically so: the relative risk for hip fracture, for example, was 1.5. Univariate analyses generally indicated increased risk associated with increasing age, earlier age at diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, disability, impaired ambulation, steroid use, and thinness, and decreased risk associated with obesity and estrogen use. In multivariate analyses, only aging, impaired ambulation, and thinness were identified as independent risk factors.
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