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July 2003 Issue

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Watts Presents BMD Study Results

Published July 2003

Nelson B. Watts, MD, director of the UC Bone Health Osteoporosis Center, presented results of his analysis on bone mineral density and its reduction of non-vertebral fracture risk at the 85th annual meeting of The Endocrine Society on June 19.

The analysis showed that increases in bone mineral density (BMD) only accounted for six to 12 percent of the reduction in non-vertebral fracture risk that resulted from osteoporosis treatment over three years in postmenopausal women. Previously, analyses of clinical trial data for three major osteoporosis therapies have shown that increases in BMD account for only a fraction (<1/3) of the total reduction in vertebral fracture risk. The new findings support that this is also the case for fractures at nonvertebral sites, such as the hip and wrist.

"The results uncerscore the importance of physicians evaluating osteoporosis therapies based upon fracture reduction data," said Dr. Watts. "Many factors of bone quality are important for strong bones, such as rate of bone turnover, bone micro-architecture, and material properties of bone. Therefore, BMD should not be used to compare fracture efficacy between osteoporosis therapies."

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