Clinical and socio-demographic profile of patients on treatment for osteoporosis in Nairobi, Kenya

Oyoo GO, Genga EK, Otieno CF, Ilovi CS, Omondi EA, Otieno FO. "Clinical and socio-demographic profile of patients on treatment for osteoporosis in Nairobi, Kenya." East African Orthopaedic Journal. 2016;9(2).


Background: Osteoporosis is a chronic, progressive disease of multifactorial aetiology and one of the most common metabolic bone diseases worldwide. There is a paucity of data on osteoporosis in Africa as it’s generally thought not to affect the non-Caucasian population. We sought to describe the population with osteoporosis in a Nairobi rheumatology clinic.

Objective: To evaluate the clinical characteristics of patients with osteoporosis seen at a rheumatology clinic in Nairobi.

Methods: Clinical, with emphasis on musculoskeletal manifestations, treatment and selected comorbidities in 56 patients diagnosed with osteoporosis were followed up and evaluated in the Nairobi Arthritis Clinic.

Results: The age distribution was 31- 95 years with majority being above the age of 60 years at 71.5%. Majority were female (89.3%). The main musculoskeletal manifestations were polyarthralgia (30.4%) followed by lower back pain (19.6%) and pathological fractures (12.5%). The types of osteoporosis were grouped as primary (9%), secondary (44.6%) and post-menopausal (46.4%). The most common clinical association being rheumatoid arthritis (39.3%) followed by steroids therapy (25%). Other comorbidities included osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, systemic lupus erythromatosus and diabetes. Seven study participants had history of fracture with lumbar spine fractures leading at 42.8%. None of the study participants were smokers. The number of patients on calcium supplements was at 71.4% and bisphosphonates was low at 32%.

Conclusion: The findings of this study from age to comorbidities on osteoporosis are in keeping with literature. The number of patients on bisphosphonates was low which differed from Western literature. Persons at increased risk for osteoporosis in this set-up include post-menopausal women with debilitating chronic illness causing reduced mobilization over time and presenting with bone pains.These patients should be investigated for osteoporosis and effective treatment administered early.

Keywords: Osteoporosis, Clinical profile, Nairobi, Kenya

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