, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 219-225

The sample size required for intervention studies on fracture prevention can be decreased by using a bone resorption marker in the inclusion criteria: prospective study of a subset of the Nagano Cohort, on behalf of the Adequate Treatment of Osteoporosis (A-TOP) Research Group

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Abstract

In drug developments for osteoporosis, large-scale and longterm fracture prevention studies have been required. We investigated whether or not it was possible to reduce the sample size and observation period under new selection criteria for an osteoporotic fracture-prevention study. A Poisson regression model was used to identify independent risks for incident vertebral fracture in 515 postmenopausal women who had had no intervention for osteoporosis; this group was a subset of Nagano Cohort participants. The total observation period for this group was 2577 person-years, and a total of 146 new vertebral fractures were observed. Risk assessment for incident vertebral fracture among numerical covariates revealed that the following items showed significant independent risks for incident fractures; namely, baseline age (hazard ratio [HR]; 1.84; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.44–2.35; P < 0.001), number of preexisting vertebral fractures (HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.17–1.40; P < 0.001), baseline lumbar bone mineral density (LBMD) (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.71–0.88; P < 0.001), and urinary excretion of deoxypyridinoline (DPD) (HR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.03–1.35; P = 0.016). Because the initial urinary excretion of DPD was found to be a risk for incident vertebral fracture, in addition to the conventional risks, we assessed whether or not the sample size or observation period could be reduced by the incorporation of the urinary excretion of DPD into the selection criteria of a fracture-prevention study. The assessment of sample size was calculated, using the log rank test, at a two-tailed significance level of 5% and with a power of 80%. When osteoporotic patients with preexisting fracture were selected (conventional criteria), the 3-year probability of vertebral fracture was estimated as 14.3% in the present population. On the other hand, the new vertebral fracture rate during 3 years in the osteoporotic patients with preexisting fracture plus high urinary DPD (HR, above 1.0); (new selection criteria) was estimated as 23.2%. When the HR between test drug and placebo was changed from 0.4 to 0.8, the required sample size for any level of HR showed a 40% reduction for the new selection criteria compared to the conventional criteria. Therefore, the addition of urinary DPD level to the selection criteria is useful to reduce sample size in an osteoporosis fracture-prevention study.