High incidence of osteoporosis and cachexia in patients with newly diagnosed polymyalgia rheumatic and giant cell arteritis: A cross-sectional analysis

Amir Emamifar, Anne Pernille Hermann, Torkell Juulsgaard Ellingsen, Søren Hess, Inger Marie Jensen Hansen, Peter Thye-Rønn

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearchpeer-review


Objectives: The objective of this cross-sectional analysis was to evaluate the incidence of osteoporosis and body composition aberrations in polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and giant cell arteritis (GCA) patients at time of diagnosis. Methods: This is an ongoing prospective study. 37 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed PMR/GCA were included. The patients were requested to perform a total body DXA at time of diagnosis or shortly after. Data from Swiss population of healthy adults (2986 men, 2649 women) were used to classify our patients according to body composition [1,2]. Results: Of 37 patients, 3 pts. were excluded from the study because of lack of interest or a change in the initial diagnosis. Statistical analyses were performed for the rest 34 pts. Results of DXA scan were available for 30 pts. Of all included pts. 61.8% were female and mean age (confidence interval) was 71 (69-74) y. At diagnosis, 24 pts. presented with pure PMR symptoms, 2 pts. with pure cranial GCA, 8 pts. with concurrent PMR and GCA. Results of body composition assessed by DXA scan are summarized in Table 1. 23.3% of patients had low muscle mass (underlean, FFMI<10th percentile) and 40% of patients had high FMI (obese, FMI>90th percentile). 20% of the patients were categorized to have cachexia (FFMI<10 and FMI>25) and 3.3% (FFMI<10 and FMI<25) to be wasted. 30% and 53.3% of pts. had osteoporosis (T score ≤ -2.5) and osteopenia (-1≤ T score <-2.5) respectively at time of diagnosis. Conclusion: About every fifth patients had already cachexia at time of diagnosis irrespective of age and gender which was surprising. This is a chronic condition resulting in increased morbidity and functional disability in the patients. Furthermore, there was high incidence of osteopenia/osteoporosis in this patient population at diagnosis, which should be taken into consideration in the clinic. References: 1. Emamifar A, Hess S, Gerke O, et al. Medicine 2017;96:e7297. 2. Schutz Y, Kyle UU, Pichard C. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2002;26:953. Acknowledgement: Study data were collected and managed using REDCap electronic data capture tools hosted at University of Southern Denmark. Disclosure: The present study is funded by the Region of Southern Denmark, The Danish Rheumatism Association, Department of Rheumatology Svendborg Hospital, Department of Medicine Svendborg Hospital, University of Southern Denmark and Odense University Hospital.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event7th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Conference - International Convention Centre Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 28. Nov 20181. Dec 2018


Conference7th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Conference
LocationInternational Convention Centre Sydney


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