A Systematic Review of the Effect of Alendronate on Bone Mineral Density in Men
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Alendronate is known to increase bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine and hip in women, but less information is available in men. We conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials to determine whether oral alendronate improves BMD at the lumbar spine and hip in men with low bone mass or prevalent fractures, compared with men treated with placebo, calcium, or vitamin D. In three trials in men, BMD (measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) increased at 2-3 yr (compared to baseline) at the lumbar spine and femoral neck in alendronate-treated patients compared to controls. The pooled estimates of changes in BMD with 10 mg of alendronate daily compared to controls were as follows: 7.8% over 2-3 yr (95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.8- 10.8) at the lumbar spine and 3.8% (95% CI = 2.3-5.3) at the femoral neck (p < 0.001 for treatment effect in each analysis). Statistically significant heterogeneity of treatment effect was noted between trials. We conclude that 10 mg of oral daily alendronate is significantly associated with increase in BMD at the lumbar spine and hip in men over 2-3 yr and that these changes are similar to those previously observed in postmenopausal women.
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