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J Bone Miner Res. 2006 Feb;21(2):340-9.

Anti-hip fracture efficacy of biophosphonates: a Bayesian analysis of clinical trials.

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Bone and Mineral Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent's Hospital, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


In postmenopausal women, the efficacy of bisphosphonates on hip fracture risk is not clear. This Bayesian meta-analysis quantitatively reviewed data from 12 randomized clinical trials with 18,667 patients and found that bisphosphonate treatment was associated with a reduced risk for hip fracture by 42%.


The efficacy of antiresorptive bisphosphonates therapy on reducing hip fracture is not clear, because evidence from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) is inconclusive. This study was undertaken to quantitatively assess the effect of bisphosphonates on hip fracture using literature review and meta-analysis.


Bayesian methods of meta-analysis were applied to synthesize data from 12 RCTs available between 1990 and 2004. The trials involved 18,667 postmenopausal women with low BMD or osteoporosis who have been followed or treated for between 1 and 4 years. The medications used were etidronate (two trials) alendronate (six trials), risedronate (three trials), and clodronate (one trial). The primary endpoint was the incidence of hip fracture.


When data from all 12 studies were pooled, treatment with bisphosphonates was associated with a reduced risk for hip fracture by 42% (relative risk [RR], 0.58; 95% credible interval [CrI], 0.42-0.80). The absolute rate reduction was 52 hip fractures per 10,000 women (95% CrI, 4-110) for a period of 3-year treatment. The probability that bisphosphonates are better than placebo (in reducing hip fracture risk by at least 30%) was 0.90.


In postmenopausal women with osteoporosis or low BMD, bisphosphonate treatment is associated with reduced risk of hip fracture.

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