Walker-Bone, Karen, Wood, Angela, Hull, Richard, Ledingham, Joanna, McCrae, Fiona C., Shaban, Ragai, Thomas, Alastair and Mackay, Kirsten
The prevention and treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in clinical practice
Clinical Medicine, 4, (5), .
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Glucocorticoids are associated with increased risk of bone loss and fracture. This study compared the prescribing of bone protective agents by rheumatologists in clinical practice with the standards recommended in the 1998 UK Consensus guidelines. All glucocorticoid users who attended rheumatology outpatients during a four-week period were eligible. Notes were audited according to a predefined proforma. Among the 1,290 rheumatology outpatients seen in the study period, 189 (15%) were taking glucocorticoids. 63% of glucocorticoid patients were taking calcium and 46% vitamin D. In total, 124 (71%) of the 175 patients available for review were at high risk of osteoporotic fracture, of whom 76 (61%) were taking appropriate prophylaxis. In 26 (15%) patients, insufficient information was available to be able to quantify the risk of fracture. The study showed that the audit standard was not met in 39% of cases. A better strategy for the monitoring of clinical risk factors is therefore required.
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