, Volume 2, Issue 5, pp 331-345

Prevention and Treatment of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

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Abstract

Osteoporosis is a systemic disease characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of the skeleton leading to enhanced bone fragility and an increased risk of fracture. Prior to fracture, diagnosis is established by documenting low bone mass. In the first section of this article we review the clinical use of bone mass measurements and biochemical markers of bone remodeling in selecting patients most in need of preventive therapy at menopause. Women with high bone turnover lose bone at menopause more rapidly than those with normal bone turnover and are more likely to derive benefit from the several preventive therapies available. The second section addresses the available technologies used to diagnose osteoporosis and/or establish fragility fracture risk using noninvasive bone mass measurement and biochemical markers of bone remodeling separately or in combination. In the third section we review the several treatment options available for patients with osteoporosis, including alendronate (alendronic acid), risendronate (risedronic acid), calcitonin, teriparatide, and raloxifene, and the approaches to monitoring the therapeutic response. The final section deals with fall protection — an often forgotten aspect of management of the patient at risk for sustaining and osteoporotic fragility fracture.