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Preliminary clinical criteria had moderate sensitivity but low specificity for detecting osteoporosis in rheumatoid arthritis

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 QUESTION: In patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), what is the accuracy of 3 item criteria based on age, disease activity, and functional status for identifying patients at increased risk of osteoporosis?


Clinical decision criteria proposed in a previous study were evaluated using data from a population based cohort of patients (followed for 2 y) with RA recruited from the Oslo RA Register.


Oslo, Norway.


287 patients (mean age 58 y, 82% women) with RA who had a complete data set for hip and spine bone mineral density measurements, Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) (score range 0–3, higher scores indicate worse disability), and C reactive protein (CRP) or erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) at 2 years.

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Patients with RA who were at high risk of osteoporosis were …

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  • Sources of funding: in part, 8 Norwegian funding agencies.

  • For correspondence: Dr G Haugeberg, Leeds University, Leeds, UK.glennhaugeberg{at}

  • Abstract and commentary also appear in ACP Journal Club.