Self-reported calcium use in a cohort of postmenopausal women receiving osteoporosis therapy: results from POSSIBLE US™

E. Barrett-Connor, S. W. Wade, R. W. Downs, T. Ganiats, M. Hochberg, R. R. Recker, B. S. Stolshek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Summary: Calcium use was common and remained high among women on osteoporosis therapy. Use of calcium-supplemented pharmacologic therapy increased from 65.1 to 76.0 % in these women (mean follow-up, 27.5 months). Over 12 months, calcium discontinuation was fairly similar among women using calcium only (23.7 %) and women supplementing pharmacologic therapy with calcium (22.5 %). Introduction: Calcium has an important role in bone health. This study describes calcium use and persistence in a postmenopausal osteoporosis treatment cohort. Methods: Subject-reported calcium use was analyzed for 3,722 participants of the Prospective Observational Scientific Study Investigating Bone Loss Experience (POSSIBLE USTM) who used calcium either as their sole osteoporosis treatment (calcium only) or to supplement pharmacologic osteoporosis therapy (supplementers). Descriptive analyses were conducted. Kaplan-Meier methods were used to estimate the probability of discontinuing calcium therapy, and logistic regression was used to assess associations (age-adjusted odds ratios) between healthy behaviors and calcium use. Results: At entry, there were 711 calcium-only subjects and 1,960 of 3,011 subjects on pharmacologic osteoporosis therapy also supplementing with calcium (supplementers). The percentage of supplementers increased from 65.1 to 76.0 % during follow-up (mean, 27.5 months). During the first 12 months on study, the probability of calcium discontinuation was 23.7 % (95 % confidence interval [CI], 20.7 − 27.0) among calcium-only subjects and 22.5 % (95 % CI, 20.7–24.5) among supplementers. Supplementers who discontinued pharmacologic therapy were more likely to discontinue calcium than supplementers who continued pharmacologic therapy (34.9 versus 14.8 %). Overall 54.2 % of calcium-only subjects who discontinued calcium and 42.3 % of supplementers who discontinued calcium resumed calcium use during follow-up. Regular exercise was positively correlated with calcium use at study entry. Conclusions: Calcium supplementation in pharmacologically treated subjects increased over time. Persistence with calcium was high. Discontinuation of pharmacologic osteoporosis therapy was associated with an increased likelihood of discontinuing calcium use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2175-2184
Number of pages10
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 25 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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