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Invited Commentary
June 17, 2019

Considering the Risks and Benefits of Osteoporosis Treatment in Older Adults

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(8):1103-1104. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.0688

Hip fractures increase exponentially beyond the seventh decade of life, as does the risk of their devastating consequences, which include functional decline, institutionalization, mortality, and destitution. Clinicians are often hesitant to start pharmacologic treatment in older adults, particularly those with multiple comorbidities, polypharmacy, and frailty. This reluctance stems in part from the concern that these patients with a shorter life expectancy may not experience the same risk-benefit profile as healthier adults when prescribed preventive therapies.

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