Osteoporosis International

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 1227–1236 | Cite as

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

  • C. Roux
  • C. Cooper
  • A. Díez-Pérez
  • L. Martinez
  • S. Ortolani
  • M. Gitlin
  • G. Möller
  • S. Shepherd
  • N. Freemantle
Original Article



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 


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Roux
    • 1
    • 11
  • C. Cooper
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. Díez-Pérez
    • 4
  • L. Martinez
    • 5
  • S. Ortolani
    • 6
  • M. Gitlin
    • 7
  • G. Möller
    • 8
  • S. Shepherd
    • 9
  • N. Freemantle
    • 10
  1. 1.Department of RheumatologyParis Descartes UniversityParisFrance
  2. 2.MRC Epidemiology Resource CentreUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  3. 3.NIHR Musculoskeletal BRUUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  4. 4.Departamento de MedicinaHospital del Mar IMIM-UAB-RETICEFBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.Société Française de Médecine GénéraleIssy les MoulineauxParisFrance
  6. 6.Istituto Auxologico ItalianoMilanItaly
  7. 7.Health EconomicsAmgen (Europe) GmbHZugSwitzerland
  8. 8.International DevelopmentAmgen (Europe) GmbHZugSwitzerland
  9. 9.Biostatistics, Amgen LtdUxbridgeUK
  10. 10.School of Health and Population SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  11. 11.Centre d’Evaluation des Maladies Osseuses–RhumatologieHôpital CochinParisFrance

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