January 8, 1997

Rheumatologists Issue Guidelines for Preventing and Treating Corticosteroid-lnduced Osteoporosis

JAMA. 1997;277(2):98-100. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540260012005

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DESPITE ALL that is known about the bone-robbing effects of corticosteroids, many physicians still do not realize the importance of prescribing proper therapy to prevent osteoporosis in patients on long-term corticosteroid treatment.

That is the finding of a study reported at the 1996 National Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) in Orlando, Fla. The study found that the majority of physicians surveyed in 1995 underestimated the risk of osteoporosis from corticosteroid use in men and premenopausal women. Most also did not know about the efficacy of several leading therapies for preventing bone loss.

To better educate physicians regarding the care of patients taking corticosteroids, the ACR released at the meeting its first guidelines for the medical management of steroid-induced osteoporosis. The guidelines describe the options the ACR recommends for women, men, and children who are taking corticosteroids (Arthritis Rheum. 1996;39: 1791-1801).

Corticosteroids are widely used for treating