Original Article

Osteoporosis International

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 1227-1236

First online:

Prevalence of osteoporosis and fractures among women prescribed osteoporosis medication in five European countries: the POSSIBLE EU® study

  • C. RouxAffiliated withDepartment of Rheumatology, Paris Descartes UniversityCentre d’Evaluation des Maladies Osseuses–Rhumatologie, Hôpital Cochin Email author 
  • , C. CooperAffiliated withMRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, University of SouthamptonNIHR Musculoskeletal BRU, University of Oxford
  • , A. Díez-PérezAffiliated withDepartamento de Medicina, Hospital del Mar IMIM-UAB-RETICEF
  • , L. MartinezAffiliated withSociété Française de Médecine Générale, Issy les Moulineaux
  • , S. OrtolaniAffiliated withIstituto Auxologico Italiano
  • , M. GitlinAffiliated withHealth Economics, Amgen (Europe) GmbH
  • , G. MöllerAffiliated withInternational Development, Amgen (Europe) GmbH
  • , S. ShepherdAffiliated withBiostatistics, Amgen Ltd
  • , N. FreemantleAffiliated withSchool of Health and Population Sciences, University of Birmingham

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European observational 1-year study assessed osteoporosis and fracture patterns in 3,402 postmenopausal women prescribed osteoporosis medication. Almost 40% of patients had a previous fracture, while 25% had neither fracture nor dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) diagnosis and were prescribed medication, probably due to other risk factors.


This analysis assessed osteoporosis and fracture prevalence in postmenopausal women prescribed osteoporosis treatment in the Prospective Observational Study Investigating Bone Loss Experience in Europe(POSSIBLE EU®).


Women in this observational, multicenter 1-year study were categorized by fracture history and location at baseline. Baseline characteristics were analyzed according to no DXA and DXA diagnosis (osteoporosis or osteopenia). Fractures occurring during the 1-year follow-up period were recorded.


Of the 3,402 women enrolled, 39% had a previous fracture, of whom 30% had ≥2 fractures. One thousand seven hundred and eighty-four (52%) patients had a DXA diagnosis (osteoporosis 68%, osteopenia 31%, and unknown 1%). Among the osteoporosis patients, 37% had a previous fracture (hip 2.9%, vertebral 8.8%, and non-hip, non-vertebral 25%) and 35% had fractures associated with major trauma. Of the 3,402 women, 1,476 (43%) had no DXA diagnosis; of these, 57% had no fracture (25% of all women). Risk factors varied across patients with and without DXA diagnosis. During the 1-year follow-up period, the fracture incidence in patients with or without a previous fracture at baseline was 4.7% and 1.6%, respectively.


Almost 40% of patients prescribed osteoporosis medication had a previous fracture, highlighting a population with advanced disease. In contrast, 25% of patients had neither a previous fracture nor DXA diagnosis and were prescribed treatment, probably due to other risk factors. There is a need for continued improvement of disease management in European women.


Bone Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry Europe Fractures Osteopenia Osteoporosis