Osteoporosis drug 'can work in elderly'

Osteoporosis Congress Treating over-80s, green tea benefits and stone-age bones.

Women over 80 who have osteoporosis are not too old to treat, according to an analysis of two international trials, presented at the International Osteoporosis Foundation World Congress, held in Canada last week.

Women aged 80 and over account for 30 per cent of all fragility fractures and 60 per cent of all hip fractures because of high prevalence of osteoporosis and a high incidence of falls.

Dr Ego Seeman, from the University of Melbourne, Australia, told the conference in Toronto that 2g daily strontium ranelate (Protelos) had been shown to greatly reduce the risk of vertebral and non-vertebral fractures in this population.

The researchers looked at combined data from the Spinal Osteoporosis Therapeutic Intervention Study (SOTI) and the Treatment of Peripheral Osteoporosis Trial (TROPOS) to see how safe and effective strontium ranelate was in preventing fracture over one year of treatment. They analysed data from 1,488 women who took strontium ranelate or a placebo.

Compared to placebo, women taking the drug had a 59 per cent reduced risk of vertebral fracture, 37 per cent reduced risk of clinical fracture and 41 per cent reduced risk of non-vertebral fracture.

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