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?
- being female
- 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
- sports injuries
|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
- poor nutrition
- 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
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
Dear ABN readers,
Yesterday, our community, and all of Canadian health care, lost a giant in Dr. Cyril Frank
Cy was a hero to many. His surgical skills and bedside manner restored his patients’ lives. He gave each and every one unparalleled care and years of renewed happiness and quality of life.
Picture from the University of Calgary
To his colleagues, Cy was regarded as nothing short of brilliant. His thoughtful, innovative approach to reform Canadian health care was both effective and inspiring. No challenge was too big for Cy, and he encouraged others to think that way, too. He was strategic, inclusive, kind and funny.
Most important to informed consumers/patients volunteers was his willingness to champion our inclusion at decision-making tables in research and at government. He believed to his core that the patient voice and experience must help drive, along with clinical and scientific expertise, the innovation required to improve the Canadian health care system
We miss you already, Cy.
There are many exciting presentations scheduled for today at the ACR Meeting – one of them is Dr. Laurie Glimcher’s Bone Biology. Dr. Glimcher is a medical doctor at the Stephen & Suzanne Weiss Dean and Provost for Medical College. The topic of Bone Biology will be “Close to the Bone: Novel Genes that Remodel the Skeleton” and will explore the latest findings in genes and associated proteins that are leading toward a new generation of treatment for bone loss.
Bone loss is associated with osteoporosis, old age, and rheumatic disease. Research shows that as the population ages, the prevalence of chronic bone loss increases. Osteoporosis is the most common disease in the world. Rheumatic disease and many of the treatments used to treat rheumatic disease have bone loss as a side effect.