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Zoledronic acid and bone health in older adults with cognitive impairment

Osteoporos Int. 2021 Aug 2. doi: 10.1007/s00198-021-06063-6

Introduction: Osteoporosis has detrimental consequences for frail older adults. The effects on those with both osteoporosis and cognitive impairment are compounded due to increased risk of falls and changes in mobility, both of which can lead to fracture. However, there are limited data on treatment benefits for osteoporotic individuals with cognitive impairment.

Methods: This post hoc, secondary analysis of data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of single-dose zoledronic acid included 179 women age ≥ 65 years residing in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, 43 of whom had mild to severe cognitive impairment. We assessed bone mineral density (BMD) of the total hip, femoral neck, and lumbar spine by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and serum bone turnover markers (C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen and procollagen type I N propeptide) at 6 and 12 months.

Results: In participants with cognitive impairment, those who received zoledronic acid had 4.3% greater BMD at the total hip (p=.005) and 5.3% greater BMD at the femoral neck (p<.001) after 12 months compared to those in the placebo group. Bone turnover markers demonstrated significant decreases at 6 months in those with cognitive impairment who received active treatment compared to the placebo group. Improvements in bone health measures with zoledronic acid were similar to those seen in participants without cognitive impairment.

Conclusion: Zoledronic acid improves bone health in frail older women with cognitive impairment similar to those without impairment. Further studies are warranted to assess the benefit for fracture reduction in this undertreated population.

 

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