Osteoporosis International

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 239–244

Vitamin D status and response to treatment in post-menopausal osteoporosis


    • Rheumatology UnitOspedale di Valeggio
  • S. Giannini
    • Internal MedicineUniversity of Padua
  • G. Bianchi
    • Rheumatology Unit, ASL3
  • L. Sinigaglia
    • Rheumatology UnitOspedale G Pini
  • O. Di Munno
    • Rheumatology UnitUniversity of Pisa
  • C. E. Fiore
    • Internal MedicineUniversity of Catania
  • S. Minisola
    • Internal MedicineUniversity of Rome
  • M. Rossini
    • Rheumatology UnitOspedale di Valeggio
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00198-008-0650-y

Cite this article as:
Adami, S., Giannini, S., Bianchi, G. et al. Osteoporos Int (2009) 20: 239. doi:10.1007/s00198-008-0650-y



Treatment with anti-resorptive agents over 13 months was associated with for three to fivefold lower bone mineral density changes and 1.5-fold increased risk of incidence fracture in vitamin D insufficient as compared to vitamin D repleted postmenopausal osteoporotic women.


Several drugs were registered for the treatment of osteoporosis on the basis of clinical trials in which vitamin D repletion was a pre-requisite inclusion criteria and vitamin D supplements were used as adjunctive therapy. However, in routine clinical practice these supplements are not consistently recommended.


We studied 1515 women with postmenopausal osteoporosis under treatment with anti-resorbing agents (alendronate, risedronate, raloxifene) for 13.1 months with an adherence > 75%. The patients were classified as vitamin D deficient (N = 514) or vitamin D repleted (N = 1001) according to risk factors (N = 1062) or the level of 25(OH) vitamin D [25(OH)D] above or below 50 nmol/l (N = 453).


Vitamin D deficient and vitamin D repleted subjects differed significantly for annualized spine and hip bone mineral density (BMD) changes adjusted for all available confounding factors (type of treatment, age, global calcium intake, baseline BMD values). One hundred fifty one patients suffered from a new incident clinical fracture. The adjusted odds ratio for incident fractures in vitamin D deficient as compared to vitamin D repleted women was 1.77 (1.20 – 2.59, 95% CI; p = 0.004).


Optimal vitamin D repletion seems to be necessary to maximize the response to anti-resorbers in terms of both BMD changes and anti-fracture efficacy.


AlendronateBMD changesFracture riskOsteoporosis treatmentRisedronateVitamin D deficiency

Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2008