Osteoporosis in multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler. 2010 Sep;16(9):1031-43. doi: 10.1177/1352458510368985. Epub 2010 Jun 15.


Fractures resulting from osteoporosis are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the developed world. People with multiple sclerosis experience reduced mobility and are susceptible to falls. Glucocorticoid use and reduced mobility are known risk factors for osteoporosis. This paper is a review of osteoporosis in people with multiple sclerosis, looking at its prevalence, risk factors and possible mechanisms. We also review management guidelines for osteoporosis in the general population and use these to propose guidelines for osteoporosis management amongst multiple sclerosis patients. A number of studies have examined the incidence of reduced bone mineral density amongst people with multiple sclerosis; the majority provide convincing evidence that bone mineral density is significantly reduced in multiple sclerosis patients. The most significant risk factors appear to arise from the chronic disease process of multiple sclerosis and not from glucocorticoid use. There are currently no guidelines or consensus as how best to treat osteoporosis amongst multiple sclerosis patients despite their being at an increased risk. We propose an algorithm for the screening and treatment of osteoporosis in people with multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy
  • Osteoporosis / complications*
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis / therapy
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome