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, (2), CD000952

Calcium and Vitamin D for Corticosteroid-Induced Osteoporosis


Calcium and Vitamin D for Corticosteroid-Induced Osteoporosis

J Homik et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.


Objectives: To assess the effects of calcium and vitamin D compared to calcium alone or placebo in the prevention of bone loss in patients taking systemic corticosteroids.

Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Musculoskeletal trials register, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, EMBASE and Medline up to 1996. We also conducted a hand search of abstracts from various scientific meetings and reference lists of selected trials.

Selection criteria: All randomized trials comparing calcium and vitamin D to calcium alone or placebo in patients taking systemic corticosteroids.

Data collection and analysis: Data was abstracted from trials by two investigators. Methodological quality was assessed in a similar manner. Analysis was performed using fixed effects models.

Main results: Five trials were included, with 274 patients. The analysis was performed at two years after starting calcium and vitamin D. There was a significant weighted mean difference (WMD) between treatment and control groups in lumbar (WMD 2.6 (95% CI 0.7, 4.5), and radial bone mineral density (WMD 2.5 (95% CI 0.6, 4.4). The other outcome measures (femoral neck bone mass, fracture incidence, biochemical markers of bone resorption) were not significantly different.

Reviewer's conclusions: This meta-analysis demonstrated a clinically and statistically significant prevention of bone loss at the lumbar spine and forearm with vitamin D and calcium in corticosteroid treated patients. Because of low toxicity and cost all patients being started on corticosteroids should receive prophylactic therapy with calcium and vitamin D.

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