If you have arthritis, take extra care to protect your bones. A study of more than 147,000 postmenopausal women found that those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or osteoarthritis (OA) tended to fracture more bones than women without arthritis.

Women with RA were more likely to fracture their hip, spine, arm, leg, foot or tailbone. Women with OA had a modest, yet significant, increase in fracture risk with one exception: They had no increased risk of hip fracture.

RA patients tend to have low bone density, which may partly explain the connection. Also, arthritis pain, especially in the knee and hip, gives rise to decreased postural stability, which increases risk of falls.

Source: Journal of Rheumatology, vol. 38, p. 1680; Prepared by the Editors of The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at Healthcommunities.com

Published: 17 Jul 2013

Last Modified: 09 Oct 2014