MAR 23, 2019 7:37 PM PDT

Bisphosphonates increasingly prescribed to the women most likely to benefit

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Recently, there has been a trend in the age of women who have been prescribed bisphosphonates (BPs) for the treatment osteoporosis and the prevention of fracture. Now, a recent study has investigated the characteristics of women who were placed on BP therapy changed over a recent 12-year period.

"Bisphosphonate drugs have been first-line therapy for osteoporosis and fracture prevention for more than 20 years; however, osteoporosis care has changed over the past decade. Instead of treating younger, healthier women at low risk for fracture, the medical community now focuses on treating older women and those with bone density and other factors that indicate high risk for future fracture," said senior study author Joan Lo, M.D., of Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

According to a study funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), women who were placed on BP treatment, the percentage with osteopenia declined while the percentage with osteoporosis at the time of starting treatment rose. The study included 28,495 female participants ranging from ages 50 to 79 years, who were placed oral BP therapy between 2002 and 2013 and underwent a bone mineral density (BMD) test within the past two years. The participants were also selected to not have any fracture history (except for head, fingers, or toes), and no indications of advanced kidney disease or metastatic cancer.

"These findings reflect the success of regional initiatives targeting these potent therapies to those who will benefit the most. In response to national guidelines and quality metrics introduced in 2008, we are doing a better job of giving more appropriate drug treatment to women who are most likely to benefit while avoiding excess treatment of women at low risk for fracture," she said. "Approximately 13 percent to 15 percent of older women in the health plan were Asian compared to 27 percent of our study population, which suggests that Asians may be more likely to begin bisphosphonate treatment for primary prevention.”

Learn more about BPs:

Source: Endocrine Society

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
NOV 11, 2019
Neuroscience
NOV 11, 2019
Suicidal Mitochondria Responsible for ALS
Scientists at Northwestern University have dicovered a new mechanism in the brain that may be responsable for the early stages of neurodegeneration seen in...
NOV 18, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
NOV 18, 2019
FDA Approves New Drug for Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease affects approximately 100,000 Americans. Currently, the only available cure for the disease is a costly bone marrow transplant, putting...
DEC 27, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
DEC 27, 2019
New Drug to Treat Migraines Approved by FDA
Over 1 in 10 people around the world- or 780 million people. Three times more common in women than in men, until now, most treatments have been preventativ...
JAN 13, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
JAN 13, 2020
Vaccine Against Alzheimer's to Hit Clinical Trials
Currently Alzheimer’s disease is thought to affect around 50 million people around the world, with this figure doubling every year. Currently with no...
JAN 16, 2020
Cancer
JAN 16, 2020
FLASH proton therapy: faster and more effective
A new technique called FLASH proposes a new type of radiation therapy. The technique is composed of an ultra-high dose rate of radiotherapy and uses electr...
FEB 08, 2020
Cancer
FEB 08, 2020
Magic mushrooms help cancer patients' depression
A follow-up to a study originally published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2016 reports the long-term benefits of a one-time, single-dose tre...
Loading Comments...