Effect of oral alendronate on bone mineral density and the incidence of fractures in postmenopausal osteoporosis

Uri A. Liberman, Stuart R. Weiss, Johann Bröll, Helmut W. Minne, Hui Quan, Norman H. Bell, Jose Rodriguez-Portales, Robert W. Downs, Jan Dequeker, Murray Favus, Ego Seeman, Robert R. Recker, Thomas Capizzi, Arthur C. Santora, Antonio Lombardi, Raksha V. Shah, Laurence J. Hirsch, David B. Karpf

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Background. Postmenopausal osteoporosis is a serious health problem, and additional treatments are needed. Methods. We studied the effects of oral alendronate, an aminobisphosphonate, on bone mineral density and the incidence of fractures and height loss in 994 women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. The women were treated with placebo or alendronate (5 or 10 mg daily for three years, or 20 mg for two years followed by 5 mg for one year); all the women received 500 mg of calcium daily. Bone mineral density was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. The occurrence of new vertebral fractures and the progression of vertebral deformities were determined by an analysis of digitized radiographs, and loss of height was determined by sequential height measurements. Results. The women receiving alendronate had significant, progressive increases in bone mineral density at all skeletal sites, whereas those receiving placebo had decreases in bone mineral density. At three years, the mean (±SE) differences in bone mineral density between the women receiving 10 mg of alendronate daily and those receiving placebo were 8.8±0.4 percent in the spine, 5.9±0.5 percent in the femoral neck, 7.8±0.6 percent in the trochanter, and 2.5±0.3 percent in the total body (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1437-1444
Number of pages8
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 30 1995


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Liberman, U. A., Weiss, S. R., Bröll, J., Minne, H. W., Quan, H., Bell, N. H., Rodriguez-Portales, J., Downs, R. W., Dequeker, J., Favus, M., Seeman, E., Recker, R. R., Capizzi, T., Santora, A. C., Lombardi, A., Shah, R. V., Hirsch, L. J., & Karpf, D. B. (1995). Effect of oral alendronate on bone mineral density and the incidence of fractures in postmenopausal osteoporosis. New England Journal of Medicine, 333(22), 1437-1444. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJM199511303332201