Less than 10% of men receive osteoporosis treatment, even after a fracture. A study of 17,683 men revealed that older men, those with spinal fractures, and those taking steroids or antidepressants are more likely to receive treatment after a fracture. Seeing a primary care physician also increases osteoporosis treatment rates.
Introduction: In 2000, the FDA approved bisphosphonates for the treatment of osteoporosis in men. The purpose of this study is to estimate the frequency of bisphosphonate therapy within 12 months following a fracture and describe patient/physician factors associated with treatment.
Methods: Health insurance claims for 17,683 men ≥ 65 years of age, who had a claim for an incident fracture from 2000 to 2005, were followed for at least 6 months post-fracture for the initiation of treatment with a bisphosphonate. Patient characteristics, diagnostic procedures, therapies, co-morbidities, and provider characteristics were compared for men who received treatment with those who did not.
Results: Eight percent of men (n = 1,434) received bisphosphonate therapy. Overall treatment increased from 7% in 2001 to 9% in 2005 (p < 0.001). Treatment for hip fractures remained at 7% (p = 0.747). Treatment increased with age: 6% in men aged 65-69 compared to 11.6% in men aged 85-89 (p < 0.001). Factors associated with treatment included: diagnosis of osteoporosis (OR = 8.8; 95% CI, 7.7, 10.4), glucocorticoid therapy (OR = 3.2; 95% CI, 2.4, 4.3), bone mineral density measurement (OR = 3.4; 95% CI, 2.9, 4.0), and antidepressant therapy with tricyclics (OR = 2.0; 95% CI, 1.2, 3.5) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (OR = 1.7; 95% CI, 1.3, 2.4). Men with vertebral fractures (OR = 2.2; 95% CI, 1.8, 2.6) and men seen by primary physicians (OR = 2.6; 95% CI, 2.3, 3.1) were more likely to receive treatment.
Conclusions: Less than 10% of men received bisphosphonate therapy following a low-impact fracture. Men with a primary physician were more likely to receive bisphosphonate therapy; however, <25% of men were seen by a primary physician.