BERLIN, GERMANY-- An osteoporosis drug can reduce the risk of hip fractures by 56 percent among women who have never suffered a spinal fracture, according to a University of California San Francisco researcher who announced new results from the landmark Fracture Intervention Trial (FIT) today (Monday, September 14) at an annual scientific meeting.
"These results are dramatic," said Dennis Black, PhD, UCSF professor of medicine and epidemiology, lead author of the study, who will present his findings at the European Congress on Osteoporosis. "No other therapy has been shown to work in such a wide spectrum of women with osteoporosis to reduce the most devastating of fractures--those that occur at the hip."
Hip fractures, the most debilitating, increase a women's risk of requiring nursing home care by 25 percent. Half of the women who suffer a hip fracture are disabled, many permanently, Black said.
The new findings from the FIT study, a 6,000 patient trial, show that the osteoporosis drug, called alendronate, also reduced the likelihood of painful spine fractures by 49 percent in women who have never had a spine fracture. Among women in the study who did not have osteoporosis, fractures were less common. However, this group did achieve increases in bone mineral density.
In a previous arm of FIT, which only included osteoporatic women who had already suffered a spinal fracture, alendronate reduced the risk of hip fractures by 51 percent and the risk of spine fractures by 47 percent.
Other key findings of the FIT analysis to be presented during the European World Congress include: