The following article features coverage from ACR 2017 in San Diego, California. Click here to read more of MPR‘s conference coverage.

HealthDay News — For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), opioids and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are associated with increased risk of osteoporotic (OP) fractures, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, being held November 3 to 8 in San Diego.

Gulsen Ozen, MD, from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, and colleagues assessed 2001-2016 data for OP fractures from the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases. Data were included for 11,002 RA patients who were followed for a median of 5.4 years. 

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The researchers identified 863 OP fractures (7.8%). After adjustment, increased OP fracture risk was seen with ≥3 months of glucocorticoid use of any dose, SSRI use (hazard ratio [HR], 1.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 1.64), and opioids of any strength (weak: HR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.26 to 1.74; strong: HR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.41 to 2.26). The increased risk started after one to 30 days of opioid use (HR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.49 to 2.48), while the increased risk in association with SSRIs started after three months of use (HR, 1.25; 95% CI, 0.99 to 1.59).

“Given the burden of osteoporotic fractures and the suboptimal osteoporosis care, it’s highly important to identify factors associated with fracture risk, particularly modifiable ones, in RA patients,” Ozen said in a statement.

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