Osteoporosis International

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 349–356 | Cite as

Adherence to alendronate in male veterans

  • K. E. Hansen
  • E. D. Swenson
  • B. Baltz
  • A. A. Schuna
  • A. N. Jones
  • M. E. Elliott
Original Article



In one Veterans Affairs’ medical center, alendronate non-adherence was more likely in male veterans who smoke or report side effects, and less likely in men undergoing bone densitometry during therapy. Providers urgently need programs to increase adherence to osteoporosis medications. Initial programs should target patients with risk factors for non-adherence.


Adherence to osteoporosis therapy in men is unknown. We hypothesized that ca. 50% of men at one center would be adherent to alendronate and one or more patient-specific factors would associate with adherence.


We conducted a retrospective chart review study of male veterans to determine the rates and predictors of alendronate adherence over two years. We excluded women, men who received primary care elsewhere and those who took alendronate for indications other than low bone mass. We defined adherence as a medication possession ratio ≥80% in the first 24 months of therapy.


Adherence in the first 12 and 24 months of therapy was 59% and 54%, respectively. In multivariate analyses, non-adherence was more likely in men using tobacco (OR 2.08, 95% CI 1.13, 3.84, p = 0.02) and reporting side effects (OR 2.06, 95% CI 1.14, 3.73, p = 0.02) and less likely in men undergoing bone density during therapy (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.26, 0.90, p = 0.02).


Alendronate non-adherence is more likely in male veterans who smoke or report side effects, and less likely in men having bone densitometry during therapy. Providers urgently need programs to increase adherence to osteoporosis medications. Initial programs should target patients with risk factors for non-adherence.


Adherence Alendronate Medication possession ratio Men Osteoporosis Treatment 


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. E. Hansen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • E. D. Swenson
    • 1
  • B. Baltz
    • 3
  • A. A. Schuna
    • 4
  • A. N. Jones
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. E. Elliott
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin Osteoporosis Clinical Center & Research ProgramMadisonUSA
  3. 3.University of Wisconsin School of PharmacyMadisonUSA
  4. 4.William S. Middleton Veterans Affairs Medical CenterMadisonUSA
  5. 5.Department of MedicineUW School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA

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