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Clin Ther. 1999 Jun;21(6):1025-44.

Diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women: clinical guidelines. International Committee for Osteoporosis Clinical Guidelines.

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Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Lyon, France.


The authors, all physicians involved in clinical research on bone and practicing clinicians, propose practical guidelines for identifying persons with osteoporosis or those at high risk of developing the disease and for managing patients who may benefit from therapy. These guidelines are based on an analysis of peer-reviewed articles published before November 1998. A flowchart of women who might benefit from treatment is provided, including clinical presentation (recent fracture of the spine, hip, or other bone or no fracture; risk factors for osteoporosis); relevant investigations (bone mineral density measurement and laboratory tests required for the differential diagnosis); and therapeutic management (general measures such as calcium and vitamin D supplementation and specific pharmacologic interventions such as estrogen, bisphosphonates, intranasal calcitonin, raloxifene, fluoride salts, and other compounds that have been assessed in randomized clinical trials). The strongest evidence for antifracture efficacy (reduction of vertebral and nonvertebral fracture risk) was observed with alendronate.

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