Osteoporosis drug treatment not linked with reduction in mortality rates


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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While some studies have suggested that drug treatments for osteoporosis could directly reduce mortality rates, findings from a new meta-analysis suggest this is not the case. 

Researchers analysed data from 38 clinical trials involving 101,642 participants to evaluate whether drug treatments for osteoporosis reduced overall mortality. Overall, 45,594 participants were randomised to placebo and 56,048 to treatment. 

The authors found no significant association between all drug treatments for osteoporosis and overall mortality rate (risk ratio [RR] 0.98; 95% CI 0.91-1.05; P=.56).

Analysis of 21 trials of bisphosphonate treatment showed no significant association with overall mortality (RR 0.95; 95% CI 0.86-1.04; P=.17). 

An analysis of six trials of zoledronate treatment (RR 0.88; 95% CI 0.68-1.13; P=.31) also showed no association with overall mortality rate; however, the authors noted that evidence existed for heterogeneity of the results (I2=48.2%). They said more data are needed to better understand whether treatment with zoledronate is associated with reduced mortality.

Writing in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers cautioned that drug treatments for osteoporosis should be recommended only for the prevention of fracture and not for any additional reduction in mortality.