[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 21, 1989

Guidelines for Treatment of Osteoporosis in Older Women

Author Affiliations

New York, NY

New York, NY

JAMA. 1989;262(3):352-353. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430030040026

To the Editor.—  In a State of the Art/Review of senile osteoporosis, Drs Resnick and Greenspan1 make the following observations:

  1. "Empiric support for supplemental calcium in older women is sparse and conflicting.... Supplemental calcium in older women is more likely to cause adverse side effects.... Without more data, it is difficult to know whether to recommend supplemental calcium, and, if so, how much."

  2. "Data supporting the use of cholecalciferol (vitamin D) are conflicting.... Toxicity (manifest as hypercalcemia) can occur with dosages as low as 50 μg/d, especially in elderly individuals."

  3. "Exercise is potentially a twoedged sword.... Further study is required to determine whether prescribing exercise for older individuals will be beneficial for fracture prevention."

The authors then provide what they call "reasonable guidelines," as follows:"Elderly women may be advised to take... vitamin D... and an adequate amount of calcium_Judiciously designed exercise programs... may be