Treatment-Related Changes in Bone Density Linked to Fracture Risk in Osteoporosis

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Changes in bone density related to osteoporosis treatment may help identify fracture risk in women.
Changes in bone density related to osteoporosis treatment may help identify fracture risk in women.

(HealthDay News) — For women initiating osteoporosis treatment, treatment-related changes in total hip bone mineral density (BMD) are associated with fracture risk, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

William D. Leslie, MD, from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, and colleagues examined repeated BMD testing as an indicator of treatment-related fracture risk reduction in a registry-based cohort study. Data were included for 6629 women aged 40 years or older initiating osteoporosis treatment with 2 consecutive dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans.

The researchers found that 13.7% of women (910 women) developed incident fractures during a mean of 9.2 years, including 198 hip fractures. Women with a detectable decrease in total hip BMD had an absolute increase of 2.9% and 5.5% in the 5- and 10-year cumulative incidence of any fracture, respectively, compared with stable BMD, after adjustment for baseline fracture probability. 

For women with a detectable increase in total hip BMD, the risk for any fracture was 1.3% and 2.6% lower after 5 and 10 years, respectively. The results were consistent for change in femoral neck and lumbar spine BMD and across subgroup analyses.

"Monitoring BMD in clinical practice may help to identify women with a suboptimal response to osteoporosis treatment," the researchers wrote.

Disclosures: Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


  1. Leslie WD, Majumdar SR, Morin SN, Lix LM. Change in Bone Mineral Density Is an Indicator of Treatment-Related Antifracture Effect in Routine Clinical Practice: A Registry-Based Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med. 2016. doi:10.7326/M15-2937.
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