Pharmacologic therapy is recommended to reduce future fracture risk. We examined osteoporosis medications dispensed to older women after first fracture. Only 23 % received therapy during the first year post-fracture. Prior osteoporosis therapy, a prior osteoporosis diagnosis, and older age were good predictors of post-fracture osteoporosis therapy.
Pharmacologic therapy is recommended after osteoporotic fracture to reduce future fracture risk. The objective of this retrospective study was to examine osteoporosis therapy dispensed to women post-fracture.
We identified women ≥50 years old in a large administrative claims database from 2003 to mid-2012 who were continuously enrolled 2 years before (baseline) and 1 year after first osteoporotic fracture. Exclusions were Paget’s disease or malignant neoplasm. Pre- and post-fracture osteoporosis therapies (oral and parenteral) were assessed overall and by fracture site.
A total of 47,171 women of mean (SD) age of 63 (10) years were eligible; fractures included 8 % hip, 17 % vertebral, 73 % non-hip/non-vertebral, and 3 % multiple fracture sites. Only 18 % received osteoporosis therapy within 90 days and 23 % within 1 year post-fracture. Overall, 19 % of women had a prior osteoporosis diagnosis; 20 % had received osteoporosis therapy during baseline. Of 37,649 (80 %) women without baseline therapy, only 9 % initiated pharmacologic therapy within 1 year. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) of therapy within 1 year post-fracture was significantly greater for women who had received baseline osteoporosis therapy (versus none) and who had vertebral (OR 12.7, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 11.2–14.5), hip (15.2, 12.5–18.7), or non-hip/non-vertebral fracture (34.4, 31.7–37.3). Other significant predictors included pre-fracture osteoporosis diagnosis (1.6, 1.4–1.7) and older age (OR range, 1.3–1.7). Treatment adherence was significantly better among women with baseline osteoporosis diagnosis.
The substantial post-fracture treatment gap represents an important unmet need for women with osteoporotic fractures. Fracture liaison or adherence programs could lead to improved post-fracture treatment rates.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00198-014-2827-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.