Adverse effects of media reports on the treatment of osteoporosis

  • Cristiana Cipriani
  • Jessica Pepe
  • Salvatore Minisola
  • E. Michael Lewiecki



The review focused on the role that media reporting plays in the level of public awareness about osteoporosis and its influence on osteoporosis treatment decisions.


We reviewed the literature on the role of media on three main aspects influencing patient adherence to osteoporosis treatment: the awareness of osteoporosis as a major health problem, the perception of the effectiveness of osteoporosis medications, and the fear of adverse effects with osteoporosis medications.


A review of the literature confirmed what is routinely observed in clinical practice—that media report can strongly influence the level of awareness of osteoporosis and fracture risk. Inadequate and/or incorrect information on osteoporosis in the media are associated with a low level of awareness of the disease. High-risk patients may have a poor understanding of the need for treatment. Alarming information in the media over the last 2 decades regarding effectiveness and safety of long-term osteoporosis treatment is associated with reduction in the use of osteoporosis medications.


There is a gap between the application of clinical recommendations and patient perceptions of osteoporosis and its treatment. There is a need for better education of patients and practitioners aimed at recognizing the serious consequences of fractures and understanding the expected benefits and potential risks of treatment. Media reports that disseminate evidence-based information on the balance of benefits and risks could help to reduce the osteoporosis treatment gap and mitigate the crisis in osteoporosis care.


Media Osteoporosis Fracture Treatment 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Cipriani and Dr. Pepe have no financial disclosure and no conflict of interest. Prof. Minisola served as speaker for Abiogen, Amgen, Bruno Farmaceutici, Diasorin, Eli Lilly, and Fujii. He also served in advisory board of Abiogen. He received consultancy from Bruno Farmaceutici. In the past year, Prof. E. Michael Lewiecki has received institutional grant/research support from Amgen, PFEnex, and Mereo; he has served on scientific advisory boards for Amgen, Radius, Shire, Alexion, Ultragenyx, and Sandoz; he serves on the speakers’ bureau for Shire, Alexion, and Radius.

Ethical approval

This article contains studies with human participants performed by the authors where ethical approval was obtained.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained by all the participants of the aforementioned studies.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine and Medical DisciplinesSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.New Mexico Clinical Research and Osteoporosis CenterAlbuquerqueUSA

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