and therefore have more to gain from osteoporosis treatment, regardless of the presence of any comorbidities, according to a new study.
To determine how and when to treat older women for osteoporosis, Kristine E. Ensrud, MD, of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and coauthors studied active surviving participants in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. The cohort comprised 1,528 women who met criteria for either osteoporosis (n = 761) or without osteoporosis but at high fracture risk (n = 767). Mean age at the time of examination was 84 years and mean femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) T-score was −2.24.
During an average follow-up period of 4.4 years after initial examination, 125 women (9%) experienced a hip fracture and 287 (19%) died without experiencing that outcome. The 5-year absolute probability of mortality was 25% (95% confidence interval, 21.8%-28.1%) in women with osteoporosis and 19% (95% CI, 16.6%-22.3%) in women without osteoporosis but at high fracture risk. Although both groups saw mortality probability increase with more comorbidities and poorer prognosis, 5-year hip fracture probability was 13% (95% CI, 10.7%-15.5%) among women with osteoporosis and 4% (95% CI, 2.8%-5.6%) among women without osteoporosis but at high fracture risk.
This probability of the women with osteoporosis experiencing a hip fracture, “even after considering their competing mortality risk” suggests that “initiation of drug treatment in late-life women with osteoporosis may still be effective in the prevention of subsequent hip fracture,” the researchers wrote in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Dr. Ensrud and associates acknowledged their study’s limitations, including the cohort being made up of community-dwelling white women and thus the results not being generalizable to men or women of other racial or ethnic groups. But the researchers noted that the mean femoral neck BMD of women in the study “was essentially identical to that of a nationally representative sample of community-dwelling women 80 years and older enrolled in the 2005 to 2008 NHANES [National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey].”
Dr. Cynthia M. Boyd reported receiving royalties from UpToDate and a grant from the National Institutes of Aging Dr. Katie L. Stone reported receiving grant support from Merck, and Dr. Lisa Langsetmo reported receiving grants from the National Institutes of Health and Merck. No other authors reported any relevant financial disclosures. The Study of Osteoporotic Fractures was supported by NIH and grants from NIA.
SOURCE: Ensrud KE et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2019 Jun 17. .