Management of postmenopausal osteoporosis: Position statement of the North American Menopause Society

J. Christopher Gallagher, Bruce Ettinger, Margery L.S. Gass, Risa Kagan, Betsy L. McClung, Michael R. McClung, James A. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Objective: The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) established a goal to create an evidence-based position statement regarding the management of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Design: NAMS followed the general principles established for evidence-based guidelines to create this document. A MEDLINE search was conducted. Clinicians and researchers acknowledged to be experts in the field of osteoporosis were enlisted to review the evidence. The NAMS Board of Trustees reviewed and approved the final document. Results: Osteoporosis, which has its highest rate of occurrence in postmenopausal women, increases the risk for fractures, including hip and spine fractures. These injuries are often associated with particularly high morbidity and mortality. Given the health implications of osteoporotic fractures, the primary goal of osteoporosis therapy is to prevent fractures by slowing or preventing bone loss, maintaining bone strength, and minimizing or eliminating factors that may contribute to falls. The evaluation of postmenopausal women for osteoporosis risk requires the recording of a medical history, a physical examination, and diagnostic tests. Major risk factors for osteoporosis are age, genetics, lifestyle (especially nutrition), and menopausal status. Management focuses first on nonpharmacologic measures, such as a balanced diet including adequate calcium and vitamin D intakes, appropriate exercise, smoking cessation, avoidance of excessive alcohol intake, and fall prevention. If pharmacologic therapy is indicated, FDA-approved options are estrogens (prevention only), bisphosphonates and selective estrogen-receptor modulators (prevention and treatment), and calcitonin (treatment only). Conclusions: Management of postmenopausal osteoporosis involves identifying the potential risk for osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture, followed by measures that focus on reducing modifiable risk factors through lifestyle changes and, if indicated, pharmacologic therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-101
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 14 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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