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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine whether clodronate reduced the incidence of vertebral fractures in patients with osteoporosis. We report here the interim analysis after 1 year of a 3-year double-blind placebo-controlled study. The objectives of the interim analysis were to determine whether there was a trend in fracture frequency and to examine the effects of clodronate on bone mineral density (BMD). Patients with densitometrically proven osteoporosis (T-score <-2.5 and <-3 for women and men, respectively) or with at least one prevalent vertebral fracture were recruited to a 3-year double-blind, controlled study. Patients were randomized to three strata, namely women with postmenopausal osteoporosis (stratum I, n = 483), women with secondary osteoporosis (II, n = 110), and men with osteoporosis of any causation (III, n = 84). They received either clodronate 800 mg daily by mouth or an identical placebo, and all patients received a calcium supplement of 500 mg daily. BMD was measured at six monthly intervals, and lateral spine radiographs for vertebral morphometry were obtained at baseline and 1 year. Treatment with clodronate was associated with a significant increase in BMD at the spine of 3.2 +/- 0.3% (p < 0.0001 vs. baseline) compared with a nonsignificant change of 0.5 +/- 0.3% in the placebo group (p < 0.0001 between treatments). At the hip, clodronate was associated with a significant increase in total hip BMD of 1.3 +/- 0.3% (p = 0.018 vs. baseline) compared with a small decrease of 0.4 +/- 0.3% in the placebo group (p = 0.027 for the difference between treatment groups). The mean changes at the spine and hip were similar in all three strata. Incident vertebral fractures were observed in 27 patients at 1 year in the placebo group (9.0%) and in 14 patients receiving clodronate (4.9%) (relative risk 0.54; 95% CI 0.29-1.02; p = 0.07). A trend was observed in all treatment strata. Treatment was well tolerated, with no significant adverse events attributable to clodronate treatment. We conclude that clodronate 800 mg daily is effective in preventing bone loss, and at 1 year, there is a trend consistent with antifracture efficacy in patients with established osteoporosis regardless of causation.
Bone 04/2001; 28(3):310-5. · 4.46 Impact Factor