Idiopathic osteoporosis in men is an increasingly recognized disorder accounting for up to 200,000 hip fractures worldwide each year. Although there is no widely accepted or proven efficacious treatment for men with idiopathic osteoporosis, we attempted to examine the effectiveness of alendronate in this disorder. We retrospectively compared the clinical records of male patients with osteopenia (hip or spine T scores less than -1.0, with or without low-trauma fractures) treated either with alendronate 10 mg orally/day and calcium and vitamin D replacement versus conservative treatment with calcium and vitamin D alone. Review included analysis of laboratory studies and bone turnover markers in a subset of patients. We documented bone mineral density (BMD) by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and repeated BMD after an average follow-up of 1.9 and 2.7 years in the alendronate-treated and conservative treatment groups, respectively. At baseline, conservatively-treated and alendronate-treated patients had similar BMD at the lumbar spine and hip. Over the period of observation, the conservatively-treated patients exhibited insignificant changes in BMD at all measured sites. In contrast, alendronate treatment resulted in a significant increase in BMD of the spine (+4.6%, P =.002), trochanter (+6.4%, P =.002), and total hip (+4.7%, P =.002). Indeed, compared with conservative treatment, alendronate-treated patients sustained a significant annualized percent increment of the BMD in the spine (2.7 +/- 0.6 v 1.1 +/- 0.3, P =.025), trochanter (4.7 +/- 1.7 v 0.7 +/- 0.6, P =.025), and total hip BMD (3.3 +/- 0.9 v 0.1 +/- 0.4, P =.0009). These data are among the first that illustrate the potential efficacy of alendronate in the management of idiopathic osteoporosis in men.
Copyright 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company