Current Osteoporosis Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 89-94

First online:

Nonvertebral fracture risk reduction with nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates

  • Marc C. HochbergAffiliated withUniversity of Maryland School of Medicine Email author 

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Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disorder characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue resulting in compromised bone strength and an increased risk of fracture. There are two major fracture types: vertebral and nonvertebral. The latter include fractures involving the upper extremities, lower extremities (including hip), pelvis, and ribs. A recent review comparing the efficacy and safety of drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of osteoporosis demonstrated that although all of the agents have been shown to reduce the incidence of radiographic vertebral fractures, they do not all reduce the incidence of nonvertebral fractures. This article summarizes the most currently available data relative to nonvertebral and hip fracture risk reduction for the N-containing bisphosphonates alendronate, ibandronate, risedronate, and zoledronic acid, and presents results of an analysis of comparative efficacy of these compounds using the technique of adjusted indirect comparisons.