Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999
To the Editor: The Editorial by Dr Heaney1 concludes that 4 years of treatment with alendronate
sodium produced disappointing results for women with low bone density. It
may be too much to expect that only 4 years of modest increases in bone density
with alendronate, estrogen, tamoxifen citrate, or other agents would reduce
nonspine fracture risk in women with only a modest risk.2-4
However, this should not obscure the important finding that just 3 to 4 years
of alendronate substantially reduced the risk of painful fractures in women
who have hip bone density at least 2.5 SDs below normal. These findings reinforce
National Osteoporosis Foundation guidelines5
that women 65 years and older who are willing to consider treatment for osteoporosis
should have a measurement of bone density to determine whether they would
benefit from treatment.
Cummings SR, Black D, Barrett-Connor E, Scott J, Wallace RB. Alendronate and Fracture Prevention. JAMA. 1999;282(4):324–325. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-4-jbk0728
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