Article: article from journal or magazin.
The effect of treatment with calcitonin on vertebral fracture rate in osteoporosis.
The efficacy of treatments for osteoporosis does not become evident when evaluated by fracture incidence (FI). Vertebral FI decreased in all controlled studies on calcitonin, but not significantly. Small sample sizes and short periods of treatment may have masked a possible therapeutic benefit, but longer, controlled studies with sodium fluoride or etidronate in larger groups of patients also failed to show a decrease in FI. The present analysis of nine published, therapeutic studies which indicate the FI per year and the initial prevalence of vertebral fractures, examines the question of whether the initial prevalence of fractures has an effect on the subsequent incidence of new fractures and whether the therapeutic effects have to be evaluated as a function of the initial prevalence of fractures. Bearing in mind the differences in roentgenological evaluation and in the size and quality of the various studies, the analysis revealed (1) that in the control groups there was a higher FI in patients with more than three vertebral fractures at baseline (estimated odds ratio (OR) = 49, p = 0.011); (2) that a similar trend, although not statistically significant, was observed in treated patients; (3) that the groups of control patients treated for more than 1 year showed in general an increase in FI beyond the first year and that the reverse was true in treated patients. In conclusion, failure to allow for the initial prevalence of vertebral fractures at the individual level in therapeutic trials of calcitonin to treat osteoporosis and prevent new fractures might have contributed to the absence of a demonstrable benefit of the treatment in those studies.
Calcitonin/therapeutic use, Fluorides/therapeutic use, Humans, Incidence, Osteoporosis/complications, Osteoporosis/drug therapy, Prevalence, Reference Values, Retrospective Studies, Spinal Fractures/epidemiology, Spinal Fractures/prevention & control
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