Prevalence of osteoporosis and fractures among women prescribed osteoporosis medication in five European countries: The POSSIBLE EU ® study

C. Roux, C. Cooper, A. Díez-Pérez, L. Martinez, S. Ortolani, M. Gitlin, G. Möller, S. Shepherd, N. Freemantle

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Summary: European observational 1-year study assessed osteoporosis and fracture patterns in 3,402 postmenopausal women prescribed osteoporosis medication. Almost 40% of patients had a previous fracture, while 25% had neither fracture nor dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) diagnosis and were prescribed medication, probably due to other risk factors. Introduction: This analysis assessed osteoporosis and fracture prevalence in postmenopausal women prescribed osteoporosis treatment in the Prospective Observational Study Investigating Bone Loss Experience in Europe(POSSIBLE EU®). Methods: Women in this observational, multicenter 1-year study were categorized by fracture history and location at baseline. Baseline characteristics were analyzed according to no DXA and DXA diagnosis (osteoporosis or osteopenia). Fractures occurring during the 1-year follow-up period were recorded. Results: Of the 3,402 women enrolled, 39% had a previous fracture, of whom 30% had ≥2 fractures. One thousand seven hundred and eighty-four (52%) patients had a DXA diagnosis (osteoporosis 68%, osteopenia 31%, and unknown 1%). Among the osteoporosis patients, 37% had a previous fracture (hip 2.9%, vertebral 8.8%, and non-hip, non-vertebral 25%) and 35% had fractures associated with major trauma. Of the 3,402 women, 1,476 (43%) had no DXA diagnosis; of these, 57% had no fracture (25% of all women). Risk factors varied across patients with and without DXA diagnosis. During the 1-year follow-up period, the fracture incidence in patients with or without a previous fracture at baseline was 4.7% and 1.6%, respectively. Conclusion: Almost 40% of patients prescribed osteoporosis medication had a previous fracture, highlighting a population with advanced disease. In contrast, 25% of patients had neither a previous fracture nor DXA diagnosis and were prescribed treatment, probably due to other risk factors. There is a need for continued improvement of disease management in European women. © 2010 International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1236
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • Bone
  • Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry
  • Europe
  • Fractures
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoporosis


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