Abstract: Glucocorticoids (GCs) are the cornerstone of the therapy in many autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. However, it is well known that their use is a double edged sword, as their beneficial effects are associated almost universally with unwanted effects, as, for example glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (GIO). Over the last years, several clinical practice guidelines emphasize the need of preventing bone mass loss and reduce the incidence of fractures associated with GC use. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation, as adjunctive therapy, are included in all the practice guidelines. However, no standard vitamin D dose has been established. Several studies with postmenopausal women show that maintaining the levels above 30-33?ng/mL help improve the response to bisphosphonates. It is unknown if the response is the same in GIO, but in the clinical practice the levels are maintained at around the same values. In this study we demonstrate that patients with autoimmune diseases, undergoing glucocorticoid therapy, often present suboptimal 25(OH)D levels. Patients with higher body mass index and those receiving higher doses of glucocorticoids are at increased risk of having lower levels of 25(OH)D. In these patients, calcidiol supplementations are more effective than cholecalciferol to reach adequate 25(OH)D levels.
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