, Volume 20, Issue 12, pp 2055-2061
Date: 13 May 2009

Can fall risk be incorporated into fracture risk assessment algorithms: a pilot study of responsiveness to clodronate

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Fall risk does not significantly impact on the efficacy of the bisphosphonate clodronate in reducing the incidence of fracture.


The debate about the efficacy of skeletal therapies on fracture risk in women at increased risk of falling continues. We determined whether fall risk impeded the efficacy of clodronate to reduce osteoporotic fracture incidence.


This is a post hoc analysis of a 3-year placebo-controlled study of bisphosphonate clodronate involving 5,212 women aged 75 years or more. At entry, self-reported multiple falls in the previous month and ability to rise from a chair were documented. Their interaction with treatment efficacy was examined using Poisson regression.


Oral doses of clodronate at 800 mg daily reduced osteoporotic fracture incidence by 24% (hazard ration (HR) 0.76, 95% confidence interval 0.63–0.93). The efficacy was similar in women with recent multiple falls compared to those without (HR 0.61 vs. 0.77, p value for interaction  >0.30) or impaired ability in rising compared to those with no impairment (HR 0.79 vs. 0.74, respectively; p value > 0.30).


Fall risk does not significantly impact on the anti-fracture efficacy of clodronate. If confirmed with other agents, fall risk may be incorporated into risk assessment tools designed to target skeletal therapies.

Study funded by: Bayer Schering Pharma Oy, Helsinki, Finland and Medical Research Council, London, UK