Untangling fracture risk in monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance: A population-based cohort study


Objective: Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is the asymptomatic precursor of multiple myeloma (MM). Lytic bone lesions and fractures are hallmarks of MM and although there are no lytic lesions in MGUS, it has also been associated with fractures. The causes of fractures in MGUS are currently unclear but potential causes include inherent MGUS bone disease, undiagnosed MM, and peripheral neuropathy (PN). We therefore conducted a large population-based study including 8,395 individuals with MGUS and 30,851 matched controls from Sweden.

Methods: Data on fractures, PN, and confounders were acquired from high-quality registers in Sweden.

Results: MGUS and PN were independently associated with fractures (HR: 1.29; 95% confidence interval (95%CI): 1.21-1.37; p<0.001 and HR: 1.34; 95%CI: 1.16-1.55; p<0.001). Imminent MGUS progression increased the risk of fractures (OR: 1.66; 95%CI: 1.27-2.16; p<0001). Fractures were not associated with long-term risk of MGUS progression (HR:1.08; 95%CI: 0.77-1.53; p=0.64).

Discussion: Based on these findings we speculate that MGUS leads to fractures through at least three independent mechanisms: undetected MGUS progression to MM, MGUS inherent bone disease, and PN through falls. These findings highlight the need for further study of MGUS inherent bone disease and can inform further research into fracture prevention in MGUS.