Association of Use of Rehabilitation Services with Development of Osteoporosis Among Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study

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Osteoporosis International

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Summary: This is the first study that has found that rehabilitation services (RS) intervention, following the onset of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), may significantly reduce the risk of osteoporosis in RA patients. Those patients who received more than five sessions of RS had the greatest benefit for the prevention of osteoporosis.

Introduction: People with rheumatoid arthritis have increased risk of developing osteoporosis (OP). It remains unclear whether use of rehabilitation services can reduce the risk of developing OP. We conducted a longitudinal cohort study to compare the effect of RS on the risk of OP in Taiwanese individuals with RA.

Methods: A national health insurance database was used to identify 2693 newly diagnosed RA patients, 20–70 years old, between 1998 and 2007. Among them, 808 received RS after the onset of RA (RS users) and 1885 patients did not receive RS (non-RS users). All enrollees were followed until the end of 2012 to record incident cases of OP. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to compute adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) for the relationship of use of RS with OP.

Results: During the 15-year follow-up, 358 RS users and 1238 non-RS users developed OP, corresponding to incidence rates of 87.24 and 129.27 per 1000 person-years, respectively. Use of RS was significantly associated with a lower risk of OP (aHR 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.56–0.71). Those who received more than five sessions of RS had the greatest benefit (aHR 0.47; 95% CI = 0.38–0.56).

Conclusions: The integration of RS into the clinical management of patients with RA may decrease their risk of developing OP.


© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2018



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