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ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mineral density and a deterioration in the microarchitecture of bone that increases its susceptibility to fracture. The World Health Organization defines osteoporosis as a bone mineral density that is 2.5 standard deviations or more below the reference mean for healthy, young white women. The prevalence of osteoporosis in black women is one half that in white and Hispanic women. In white women 50 years and older, the risk of osteoporotic fracture is nearly 40 percent over their remaining lifetime. Of the drugs that have been approved for the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis, the bisphosphonates (risedronate and alendronate) are most effective in reducing the risk of vertebral and nonvertebral fractures. Risedronate has been shown to reduce fracture risk within one year in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and in patients with glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. Hormone therapy reduces fracture risk, but the benefits may not outweigh the reported risks. Teriparatide, a recombinant human parathyroid hormone, reduces the risk of new fractures and is indicated for use in patients with severe osteoporosis. Raloxifene has been shown to lower the incidence of vertebral fractures in women with osteoporosis. Salmon calcitonin is reserved for use in patients who cannot tolerate bisphosphonates or hormone therapy.
Health Screening in Older Women - Article
ABSTRACT: Health screening is an important aspect of health promotion and disease prevention in women over 65 years of age. Screening efforts should address conditions that cause significant morbidity and mortality in this age group. In addition to screening for cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease and cancer, primary care physicians should identify risk factors unique to an aging population. These factors include hearing and vision loss, dysmobility or functional impairment, osteoporosis, cognitive and affective disorders, urinary incontinence and domestic violence. Although screening for many conditions cannot be proved to merit an "A" recommendation (indicating conclusive proof of benefit), special attention to these factors can decrease morbidity and improve quality of life in aging women.
Prevention of Osteoporosis and Fractures - Article
ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis and low bone density are associated with a risk of fracture as a result of even minimally traumatic events. The estimated lifetime risk of osteoporotic fracture is as high as 50 percent, especially in white and Asian women. The use of caffeine, tobacco and steroids is associated with a decrease in bone density. Cognitive impairment, vision problems and postural instability increase the risk of falling and sustaining a fracture. Medications such as long-acting sedative hypnotics, anticonvulsants and tricyclic antidepressants also increase this risk. Combinations of clinical and radiographic findings can predict fracture risk more effectively than bone densitometry, but often only after the first fracture has occurred. The addition of dietary calcium and/or vitamin D is clearly both cost-effective and significant in reducing the likelihood of fractures. Bisphosphonates reduce fracture risk but at a cost that may be prohibitive for some patients. Estrogen and estrogen-receptor modulators have not been well studied in randomized trials evaluating the reduction of fractures, but they are known to increase bone density. Pharmacologic therapy and the reduction of sensory and environmental hazards can prevent osteoporotic fractures in some patients.
ABSTRACT: Raloxifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator that produces both estrogen-agonistic effects on bone and lipid metabolism and estrogen-antagonistic effects on uterine endometrium and breast tissue. Because of its tissue selectivity, raloxifene may have fewer side effects than are typically observed with estrogen therapy. The most common adverse effects of raloxifene are hot flushes and leg cramps. The drug is also associated with an increased risk of thromboembolic events. The beneficial estrogenic activities of raloxifene include a lowering of total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and an augmentation of bone mineral density. Raloxifene has been labeled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of osteoporosis. However, its effects on fracture risk and its ability to protect against cardiovascular disease have yet to be determined. Studies are also being conducted to determine its impact on breast and endometrial cancer reduction.
Managing Menopause - Article
ABSTRACT: Many women will spend one third of their lifetime after menopause. A growing number of options are available for the treatment of menopausal symptoms like vasomotor instability and vaginal atrophy, as well as the long-term health risks such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis that are associated with menopause. Currently, hormone replacement therapy (estrogen with or without progestin) is the primary treatment for the symptoms and long-term risks associated with menopause. However, recent evidence calls into question the protective effect of estrogen on cardiovascular disease risk. The association of risk for breast cancer with estrogen replacement therapy also has not been fully clarified. In addition, many women cannot or choose not to take hormones. For treatment of osteoporosis and heart disease, pharmacologic choices include antiresorptive agents such as bisphosphonates and calcitonin, and estrogens or selective estrogen receptor modulators such as raloxifene. In addition, complementary options that include vitamins, herbal treatments, exercise and other lifestyle adaptations are gaining increased interest. The growing number of choices and questions in this area emphasizes the need to individualize a treatment plan for each woman to meet her specific needs.
ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis affects more than 28 million Americans. With the advent of accessible and affordable diagnostic studies, awareness and recognition of this disease by patients and clinicians are growing. Osteoporotic fractures of the spine and hip are costly and associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Over the past decade, a surge of new antiosteoporotic drugs have been labeled or are awaiting labeling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. One class of agents used to treat osteoporosis is the bisphosphonates, which inhibit bone resorption, cause an increase in bone mineral density and reduce the risk of future fractures caused by aging, estrogen deficiency and corticosteroid use. Overall, bisphosphonates have been shown to have a strong safety and tolerability profile.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Osteoporosis - Article
ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis affects approximately 8 million women and 2 million men in the United States. The associated fractures are a common and preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in up to 50 percent of older women. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry to screen all women 65 years and older and women 60 to 64 years of age who have increased fracture risk. Some organizations recommend considering screening in all men 70 years and older. For persons with osteoporosis diagnosed by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry or previous fragility fracture, effective first-line treatment consists of fall prevention, adequate intake of calcium (at least 1,200 mg per day) and vitamin D (at least 700 to 800 IU per day), and treatment with a bisphosphonate. Raloxifene, calcitonin, teriparatide, or hormone therapy maybe considered for certain subsets of patients.
Soy: A Complete Source of Protein - Article
ABSTRACT: Soybeans contain all of the essential amino acids necessary for human nutrition and have been grown and harvested for thousands of years. Populations with diets high in soy protein and low in animal protein have lower risks of prostate and breast cancers than other populations. Increasing dietary whole soy protein lowers levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins, and triglycerides; may improve menopausal hot flashes; and may help maintain bone density and decrease fractures in postmenopausal women. There are not enough data to make recommendations concerning soy intake in women with a history of breast cancer. The refined soy isoflavone components, when given as supplements, have not yielded the same results as increasing dietary whole soy protein. Overall, soy is well tolerated, and because it is a complete source of protein shown to lower cholesterol, it is recommended as a dietary substitution for higher-fat animal products.
Fracture Prevention in Postmenopausal Women - Clinical Evidence Handbook
Alendronate for Fracture Prevention in Postmenopause - Cochrane for Clinicians