Patterns of Pharmacological Treatment for Osteoporosis Among Patients Qualified for Pharmacotherapy According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation Guidelines

Chi Chuan Wang, Chung Hsuen Wu, Joel F. Farley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Whereas the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) guidelines suggest pharmacological treatment for patients at high risk of fractures, little is known about the prevalence of osteoporosis treatment among those who met the NOF criteria for pharmacotherapy. Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of osteoporosis treatment among patients who met the NOF criteria and to assess factors associated with pharmacological treatment. Methods: The 2005-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey served as the data source. Using the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool, the study included postmenopausal women and men 50 years or older who met the NOF treatment criteria. Andersen’s Behavioral Model was used to select predisposing, enabling, and need factors that might predict osteoporosis treatment. A logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with osteoporosis treatment. Results: An estimated 16 million individuals qualified for osteoporosis treatment according to the NOF guidelines. Only 24% of them received pharmacological treatment, and 89% of the patients receiving treatment were women. Only 6% to 12% of men who were at high risk of osteoporosis or fracture received pharmacotherapy. Older age, long-term corticosteroid use, history of fractures, and T-score ≤−2.5 were associated with increased odds of osteoporosis treatment, whereas male gender and lack of a usual source of health care were associated with decreased odds of osteoporosis treatment. Conclusions: Less than one-fourth of the population who should be considered for pharmacotherapy received osteoporosis treatment. Clinicians should be more aware of the unmet need for medication treatment for osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1003
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 24 2015



  • National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
  • National Osteoporosis Foundation guidelines
  • osteoporosis
  • patterns of pharmacotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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