People with lupus are advised to avoid the sun because the ultraviolet rays can trigger rashes. Some patients experience more widespread flares after sun exposure. However, sun avoidance leads to low levels of vitamin D in the body. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with thinning of the bones, or "osteoporosis." The researchers wanted to know about possible relationships between vitamin D levels in the blood, lupus treatments, and bone mineral density (BMD), a measurement of how thick bones are. The results of this study showed that people with lupus who are treated with steroids are at increased risk of having low levels of vitamin D. Although reduced levels of vitamin D are known to be directly linked to osteoporosis, this study did not show that connection.
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