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July 28, 1999

Alendronate and Fracture Prevention

Author Affiliations

Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999

JAMA. 1999;282(4):324-325. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-4-jbk0728

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.