, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 41-52
Date: 25 Aug 2009

The potential impact of new National Osteoporosis Foundation guidance on treatment patterns

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This analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III data describes the prevalence of risk factors for osteoporosis and the proportions of men and postmenopausal women age 50 years and older who are candidates for treatment to lower fracture risk, according to the new FRAX®-based National Osteoporosis Foundation Clinician's Guide.


Little information is available on prevalence of osteoporosis risk factors or proportions of US men and women who are potential candidates for treatment.


The prevalence of risk factors used in the new National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) FRAX®-based Guide to the Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis was estimated using data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). Risk factors not measured in NHANES III were simulated using World Health Organization cohorts. The proportion of US men and postmenopausal women age 50+ years who are treatment candidates by the new NOF Guide were calculated; for non-Hispanic white (NHW) women, the proportion eligible by the new NOF Guide was compared with that based on an earlier NOF Guide.


Twenty percent of men and 37% of women were potential candidates for treatment to prevent fractures by the new NOF Guide. Among NHW women, 53% were potential candidates by the previous NOF Guide compared with 41% by the new guide.


One fifth of men and 37% of postmenopausal women are eligible for osteoporosis treatment consideration by the new NOF Guide. However, fewer NHW women are eligible by the new guide than by the previous NOF Guide.

This material is based upon work supported by the US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, under agreement no. 58-1950-7-707. Any opinions, findings, conclusion, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the US Dept of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the US Department of Health and Human Services.