The use of glucocorticoids (GC) in the medium and long term, causes several considerable side effects, being one of the main ones the reduction of bone mineral density (BMD). Prolonged corticosteroid therapy reduces BMD by up to 20% in trabecular bone and approximately 2–3% in cortical bone in the first year of use. This loss rate declines and stabilizes at approximately 2% in subsequent years. Therefore, there is a considerable increase in the incidence of pathological fractures, whether clinically symptomatic or asymptomatic (detected as a radiological finding), which varies between 30 and 50% of patients who use GC for more than three months. In view of the above, it is essential to prevent fractures and treat osteoporosis in patients using glucocorticoids for long periods (in particular, greater than or equal to 3 months), which may or may not be associated with clinical risk factors or previous fractures. The guidelines for the treatment and prevention of this comorbidity are well established for postmenopausal women and men over 50 years of age. However, for patients below this range, studies are still lacking.
Part of the book: Osteoporosis