Osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are different diseases but often there is confusion between these two diseases. This is especially true among older adults. Research by Burgener et al. suggests that although many older adults have heard of osteoporosis, many know very little about it. This is important as having a good understanding of osteoporosis helps to prevent and treat the disease. Below is a chart highlighting the differences between osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
(bone+joint pain=joint damage)
What is it?
thin fragile bones that can break easily
bone mass loss can occur without any symptoms
often a fracture is the first symptom OP is present. Typical fracture locations are the wrist, spine and the hip
a frequent cause of height loss and acquired spine curve ‘dowager’s lump’
early detection is important to prevent OP
a loss of cartilage in the joint, extra bone formation and reduced joint movement
most common form of arthritis
typical symptoms are pain, loss of movement, and stiffness
common joints affected: hands, base of thumbs, tips and middle joints of the fingers, neck, back hips, knees, feet, first toes (bunion) or spine
does not affect other organs
Who gets it?
1.4 million Canadians have OP
1 in 4 women over the age of 50
1 in 8 men over the age of 50
however, the disease can strike at any age
2.9 million Canadians have OA
women more than men (2 out of 3 women)
hip and knee OA usually occurs after age 50
affects 30% of people over age 75 but is not simply apart of getting old
genetic factors and obesity
Who is at risk?
fracture with minimal trauma after the age of 40
small and thin body frames
anyone with rheumatoid arthritis speeds up the rate of OP
family history of OP
some medications including heparin (blood thinner), anti-seizure drugs and long term use of corticosteroids (such as Prednisone)
links to persons with obesity, diabetes and cartilage disorders
occupational trauma over time
Things that increase your risk.
loss of menstrual cycle in young women
lack of vitamin D and calcium
chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Hepatitis C
excessive intake of alcohol and caffeine
lack of exercise
being Caucasian or Asian
obesity increases risk of OA of the hand 3 times
a weight gain of 10kg (22 lb) almost doubles one’s risk of OA of the knee
Below is a infographic on the Global Impact of Osteoporosis from Cigna.
Living well with osteoporosis in Canada
It is normal to feel anxious when first diagnosed with osteoporosis. Some patients are concerned they may break their bones again (or fracture a second time if a broken bone was part of the initial diagnosis). As a result, some may stop participating in social and physical activities. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, depression and helplessness. It is important to know that you are not alone. With the help of medications, your health care team, and lifestyle changes, and others living with osteoporosis, you can reduce your risk of fracture and, in some cases, improve bone mass.
Osteoporosis Canada provides helpful resources on how to manage osteoporosis. They also operate a toll-free information line (English: 1-800-463-6842/French: 1-800-977-1778). Information counsellors discuss your concerns, send appropriate information and, if there is one, refer you to a Chapter or support group near you. To learn more about living well with osteoporosis, please click here. To learn more about osteoarthritis, please click here.
A recent study from Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo showed that denosumab inhibited the progression of bone erosion and increased bone mineral density (BMD) in Japanese patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were on methotrexate. This study confirmed the findings of an earlier study conducted in the U.S. and Canada.
The study followed 350 patients who have lived with RA for 6 months to less than 5 years’ duration. They were randomized to receive placebo or denosumab in doses of 60 mg every 6 months, every 3 months, or every 2 months. Participants were grouped together according to their glucocorticoid use and rheumatoid factor (RF) status at baseline. Throughout the study, they continued taking methotrexate at 6 to 16 mg/week and were treated with supplemental vitamin D and calcium. Researchers found that the changes from baseline in modified Sharp erosion score at 12 months were lower in the denosumab groups than in the placebo group. Continue reading →
Would you like to provide input to inform CADTH’s report and CDEC’s advice?
The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) has received a request for advice for denosumab (Prolia®). The request for advice comes from their participating drug plans, and can result in a revised Canadian Drug Expert Committee (CDEC) recommendation or a CDEC Record of Advice.
CADTH is interested in learning:
How should fracture risk be best described?
Is there a place for age (>75 years) or bone density scores, or are these adequately captured within fracture risk?
How should bisphosphonate failure be best described?
How should bisphosphonate intolerance be best described?
BC PharmaCare is looking for your input on denosumab (Prolia®) for the treatment of osteoporosis in men
Denosumab (Prolia®) is now being considered for coverage under the British Columbia Ministry of Health’s PharmaCare program. By filling out a questionnaire on a website called Your Voice, you can provide direct feedback about denosumab for the treatment of osteoporosis in men.
You can give input if you are a male B.C. resident living with osteoporosis, a caregiver to someone with osteoporosis, or if your group represents people who live with osteoporosis.
The input is reviewed by the Drug Benefit Council, which then gives recommendations on whether a medication should be covered, and how, by BC PharmaCare. BC PharmaCare then makes a decision based on those recommendations and available resources. Policies and plans already in place also factor in the decision making process.
It is an opportunity for you to share your perspectives on medication decisions that affect you or someone you provide care for.
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone quality. This results in bones becoming thin and weak, which increases the risk of fracture as they are easy to break. It is known as the “silent thief” because bone loss occurs without any symptoms. In fact, often it is not until someone fractures a wrist, spine, rib, or hip that osteoporosis is suspected (and often it is missed even after a fragility fracture).
As many as two million Canadians have osteoporosis. One in four women, including a third of women aged 60-70 years and two thirds of women aged 80 years and older, will be diagnosed with osteoporosis.
Research shows that weight-bearing exercise, including soccer, is an effective way to reduce the amount of bone loss over time and preserve bone mass, and thus, reduce your likelihood of developing osteoporosis and having a fracture. To prepare for the FIF Women’s World Cup™ this weekend and Father’s Day, #TeamArthritis challenges you to do something that reduce your chance of getting osteoporosis.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute state that asthma is a chronic disease that affects more than 22 million Americans (an estimated 6 million of whom are children). On World Asthma Day, we want to remind people living with asthma that they may also be at increased risk for osteoporosis. Though asthma itself does not threaten your bone health, asthma medications and behavioural practices may affect your bones.
An asthma attack can be triggered by everyday activities, such as air pollution, dust, allergens, exercise, infections, emotional upset, or certain foods. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, increased and rapid heart rate, and sweating. Children may experience itchy upper chest and get dry coughs. Continue reading →