Horm Metab Res 2022; 54(01): 20-24
DOI: 10.1055/a-1700-5007
Endocrine Care

Glucocorticoids Increase Fracture Risk and Fracture Prevalence Independently from Bone Mineral Density and Clinical Risk Factors: Results from the Gliwice Osteoporosis (GO) Study

Wojciech Pluskiewicz
1   Department and Clinic of Internal Diseases, Diabetology, and Nephrology, Faculty of Medical Sciences in Zabrze, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Piotr Adamczyk
2   Department of Paediatrcs, Faculty of Medical Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Bogna Drozdzowska
3   Department of Pathomorfology, Faculty of Medical Sciences in Zabrze, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
› Author Affiliations


The aim of the study was to establish the influence of glucocorticoids (GC) on fracture risk, probability, and prevalence. A set of 1548 postmenopausal women were divided into study group – treated with GC (n=114, age 66.48±7.6 years) and controls (n=1434, age 66.46±6.83 years). Data on clinical risk factors for osteoporosis and fractures were collected. Hip bone densitometry was performed using a device Prodigy (GE, USA). Fracture probability was established by FRAX, and fracture risk by Garvan algorithm and POL-RISK. Fracture risk and fracture probability were significantly greater for GC-treated women in comparison to controls. In the study group, there were 24, 3, 24, and 6 fractures noted at spine, hip, forearm, and arm, respectively. The respective numbers of fractures reported in controls at those skeletal sites were: 186, 23, 240, and 25. The use of GCs increased significantly prevalence of all major, spine and arm fractures. Also the number of all fractures was affected by GC use. Following factors significantly increased fracture probability: age (OR 1.04 per each year; 95% CI: 1.03–1.06), GC use (OR 1.54; 95% CI: 1.03–2.31), falls (OR 2.09; 95% CI: 1.60–2.73), and FN T-score (OR 0.62 per each unit; 95% CI: 0.54–0.71). In conclusion, in patients treated with GCs the fracture risk, probability, and prevalence were increased. This effect was evident regardless of whether GC therapy is included in the algorithm as a risk factor (FRAX, POL-RISK) or not taken into consideration (Garvan nomogram).

Publication History

Received: 24 August 2021

Accepted after revision: 15 November 2021

Article published online:
05 January 2022

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