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Injections May Increase Bone Density

04/11/2008 - News

Injections May Increase Bone Density

By: June Chen, MD

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Osteoporosis is a condition in which loss of bone mass leads to bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures. Of the estimated 10 million Americans affected by osteoporosis, 80% are women and half of the affected women over age 50 will likely have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. In a recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology and Metabolism, researchers from biotechnology company, Amgen Inc., reported the results of a clinical trial showing that twice-yearly injections of a drug called denosumab increased bone mineral density in post-menopausal women .

This study involved 332 post-menopausal women with osteoporosis, approximately half of whom were given denosumab injections. After 2 years, the researchers found that the denosumab-treated women had increased bone mineral density (BMD, an indicator of bone mass) in the low back, hip, and wrist - three areas of the body that are at particularly high risk for fracture in osteoporosis - compared with women who received placebo. Denosumab injections also increased total body BMD. The number of adverse side effects was similar in patients taking the drug and those taking placebo.

Although it is not yet known what effect denosumab has on the risk of fracture in women with osteoporosis, this potential drug may help to reduce the nearly $20 billion in costs associated with osteoporosis-related fractures.

Source

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Apr 1 (Epub ahead of print)

Created on: 04/11/2008
Reviewed on: 04/11/2008

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