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Total Hip Bone Mineral Density as an Indicator of Fracture Risk in Bisphosphonate-Treated Patients in a Real-World Setting

J Bone Miner Res. 2021 Sep 29. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.4448.

Bone mineral density (BMD) is an established measure used to diagnose patients with osteoporosis. In clinical trials, change in BMD has been shown to provide a reliable estimate of fracture risk reduction, and achieved BMD T-score has been shown to reflect the near-term risk of fracture. We aimed to test the association between BMD T-score and fracture risk in patients treated for osteoporosis in a real-world setting. This retrospective, observational cohort study included Swedish females aged ≥55 years who had a total hip BMD measurement at one of three participating clinics. Patients were separated into two cohorts: bisphosphonate-treated and bisphosphonate-naïve prior to BMD measurement, stratified by age and prior non-vertebral fracture status. The primary outcome was cumulative incidence of clinical fractures within 24 months of BMD measurement, with other fracture types included as secondary outcomes. Associations between T-score and fracture risk were estimated using proportional hazards regression and restricted cubic splines. 15,395 patients were analysed: 11,973 bisphosphonate-naïve and 3,422 bisphosphonate-treated. In the 24 months following BMD measurement, 6.3% (95% CI: 5.9-6.7) of bisphosphonate-naïve and 8.4% (7.5-‍9.4) of bisphosphonate-treated patients experienced a clinical fracture. Strong inverse relationships between BMD T-score and fracture incidence were observed in both cohorts. Among bisphosphonate-naïve patients, this relationship appeared to plateau around T-score - 1.5, indicating smaller marginal reductions in fracture risk above this value; bisphosphonate-treated patients showed a more consistent marginal change in fracture risk across the evaluated T-scores (-3.0 to -‍0.5). Trends remained robust regardless of age and prior fracture status. This real-world demonstration of a BMD-fracture risk association in both bisphosphonate-naïve and bisphosphonate-treated patients extends evidence from clinical trials and recent meta-regressions supporting the suitability of total hip BMD as a meaningful outcome for the clinical management of patients with osteoporosis.

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