Incidence of symptomatic vertebral fracture with high-dose glucocorticoid treatment in the Chiba-Shimoshizu Rheumatic Cohort between 1986 and 2006

Endocr J. 2009;56(4):591-9. doi: 10.1507/endocrj.k08e-318. Epub 2009 Apr 7.


We investigated the incidence of symptomatic vertebral fracture in patients who required long-term high-dose glucocorticoid (GC) treatment. The patients with collagen vascular diseases (aged 18 years or older) were registered to Chiba-Shimoshizu Rheumatic Cohort from 1986 to 2006. The study included the patients who were newly treated with the initial dose more than 20 mg prednisolone equivalent per day at least for more than 6 months. Among 700 patients (female/ male: 539/161, mean age: 46.7 years, mean initial GC dose: 39.9 mg/day), 167 patients (23.8%) had at least one symptomatic vertebral fracture. Age and daily GC dose were significantly higher in the symptomatic fracture group than the no symptomatic fracture group. Cox regression model demonstrated that the relative risk for symptomatic vertebral fracture is independently higher in female patients, and in patients with initial higher age, and in those patients with initial higher GC dose and GC dose-increase, but lower with cumulative higher GC dose. High-dose GC treatment causes significantly high prevalence of symptomatic vertebral fracture in patients with collagen vascular disease. Age, female, higher initial GC dose and GC dose-increase are the risk factors for the symptomatic vertebral fracture in those patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Collagen Diseases / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisolone / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Fractures / chemically induced
  • Spinal Fractures / epidemiology*


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Prednisolone