Estimates of the proportion of older white men who would be recommended for pharmacologic treatment by the new US National Osteoporosis Foundation guidelines

J Bone Miner Res. 2010 Jul;25(7):1506-11. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.55.


The new US National Osteoporosis Foundation's (NOF's) Clinician's Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis includes criteria for recommending pharmacologic treatment based on history of hip or vertebral fracture, femoral neck or spine bone mineral density (BMD) T-scores of -2.5 or less, and presence of low bone mass at the femoral neck or spine plus a 10-year risk of hip fracture of 3% or greater or of major osteoporotic fracture of 20% or greater. The proportion of men who would be recommended for treatment by these guidelines is not known. We applied the NOF criteria for treatment to men participating in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS). To determine how the MrOS population differs from the general US population of Caucasian men aged 65 years and older, we compared men in MrOS with men who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III on criteria included in the NOF treatment guidelines that were common to both cohorts. Compared with NHANES III, men in MrOS had higher femoral neck BMD values. Application of NOF guidelines to MrOS data estimated that at least 34% of US white men aged 65 years and older and 49% of those aged 75 years and older would be recommended for drug treatment. Application of the new NOF guidelines would result in recommending a very large proportion of white men in the United States for pharmacologic treatment of osteoporosis, for many of whom the efficacy of treatment is unknown.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Density
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / drug therapy
  • Femur Neck / physiology
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / prevention & control
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy*
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / drug therapy
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / prevention & control*
  • Spinal Fractures / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology