, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 217-224
Date: 05 Jul 2005

Effectiveness of alendronate and etidronate in the treatment of osteoporosis in men: a prospective observational study

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The prevalence of osteoporosis in men is higher than previously assumed; consequently, numerous therapies are being investigated to treat these patients. The Canadian Database of Osteoporosis and Osteopenia patients (CANDOO) was analyzed to examine changes in bone mineral density (BMD) in consecutively seen osteoporotic men administered alendronate, etidronate or no bone-active drugs (control) over 1 year. A total of 244 men attending six Canadian osteoporosis clinics were included in the study (42 alendronate, 102 etidronate and 100 control). Multiple imputation was used to model missing data to provide a more robust statistical model. The imputed datasets (five) were analyzed using multivariable linear regression to determine differences between groups in the percent change of lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN) BMD from baseline to 1 year. Differences in the percent change in BMD from baseline were most notable at the LS in favor of alendronate (4.3%; 95% CI: 2.1, 6.6 ) and etidronate (2.1%; 95% CI: 0.3, 4.0) therapy when compared with controls. At the LS, alendronate therapy led to significantly greater (2.2%; 95% CI: 0.2, 4.2) gains in BMD as compared to etidronate therapy. Compared to controls, there were no significant differences in FN BMD with alendronate (2.1%; 95% CI: −0.4, 4.7) or etidronate therapy (0.9%; 95% CI: −1.1, 2.8), nor were there significant differences between bisphosphonate groups (1.3%; 95% CI: −1.1, 3.6, in favor of alendronate). While both alendronate and etidronate significantly increased LS BMD in osteoporotic men after 1 year in real-world settings, alendronate therapy resulted in significantly superior gains in LS BMD. The effect of these two bisphosphonates on fractures and FN BMD in osteoporotic men is likely positive, but requires further study.