Low-dose prednisolone for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) reduces the effect of inflammation on bone tissue in the hip, according to a recent study published in Arthritis Research &Therapy. Swedish researchers divided 150 RA patients into two groups; one group was given 7.5 mg of prednisolone daily while the other group was given none. Bone formation and degradation were assessed at three and 12 months. Bone density of the spine and femur were also analyzed at 24 months. While bone formation in the hip decreased in the prednisolone group, bone degradation was less than in the non-prednisolone group. Bone density of the spine declined in both groups, but in the femur it fell more in the non-prednisolone group. Researchers found the findings surprising, since a side effect of steroids such as prednisolone has been believed to be thinning of the bones.