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BMC Musculoskelet Disord, 2021; 22(1): 885, PMID: 34663280

Association between sarcopenia, physical performance and falls in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a 1-year prospective study.

Year: 2021

Wiegmann S, Armbrecht G, Borucki D, Buehring B, Buttgereit F, Detzer C, Schaumburg D, Zeiner KN, Dietzel R
Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universitat Berlin and Humboldt- Universitat zu Berlin, Klinik fur Radiologie, Zentrum fur Muskel- und Knochenforschung, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12200, Berlin, Germany.


BACKGROUND: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at increased risk of falls and fractures. Sarcopenia occurs more frequently in RA patients due to the inflammatory processes. Early diagnosis and prevention programmes are essential to avoid serious complications. The present study aims to identify risk factors for falls related to sarcopenia and physical performance. METHODS: In a 1-year prospective study, a total of 289 patients with RA, ages 24-85 years, were followed using quarterly fall diaries to report falls. At the baseline, medical data such as RA disease duration and Disease Activity Score (DAS28CRP) were collected. Self-reported disability was assessed using the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). Appendicular skeletal mass was determined by Dual X-ray-Absorptiometry (DXA). Physical performance was evaluated by handgrip strength, gait speed, chair rise test, Short Physical Performance Battery, and FICSIT-4. Muscle mechanography was measured with the Leonardo Mechanograph(R). Sarcopenia was assessed according to established definitions by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP2) and The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). Univariate and multiple logistic regression analysis were used to explore associations with falling. Receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) were performed, and the area under the curve is reported. RESULTS: A total of 238 subjects with RA completed the 1-year follow-up, 48 (20.2%) experienced at least one fall during the observational period. No association was found between sarcopenia and prospective falls. Age (OR = 1.04, CI 1.01-1.07), HAQ (OR = 1.62, 1.1-2.38), and low FICSIT-4 score (OR = 2.38, 1.13-5.0) showed significant associations with falls. CONCLUSIONS: In clinical practice, a fall assessment including age, self-reported activities of daily life and a physical performance measure can identify RA patients at risk of falling. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study has been registered at the German Clinical Trials Register and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) since 16 March 2017 ( DRKS00011873 ).

GID: 5689; Last update: 25.04.2022