Alendronate for the treatment of osteoporosis in men

Eric Orwoll, Mark Ettinger, Stuart Weiss, Paul Miller, David Kendler, John Graham, Silvano Adami, Kurt Weber, Roman Lorenc, Peter Pietschmann, Kristel Vandormael, Antonio Lombardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

886 Scopus citations


Background. Despite its association with disability, death, and increased medical costs, osteoporosis in men has been relatively neglected as a subject of study. There have been no large, controlled trials of treatment in men. Methods. In a two-year double-blind trial, we studied the effect of 10 mg of alendronate or placebo, given daily, on bone mineral density in 241 men (age, 31 to 87 years; mean, 63) with osteoporosis. Approximately one third had low serum free testosterone concentrations at base line; the rest had normal concentrations. Men with other secondary causes of osteoporosis were excluded. All the men received calcium and vitamin D supplements. The main outcome measures were the percent changes in lumbar-spine, hip, and total-body bone mineral density. Results. The men who received alendronate had a mean (±SE) increase in bone mineral density of 7.1±0.3 percent at the lumbar spine, 2.5±0.4 percent at the femoral neck, and 2.0±0.2 percent for the total body (P<0.001 for all comparisons with base line). In contrast, men who received placebo had an increase in lumbar-spine bone mineral density of 1.8±0.5 percent (P<0.001 for the comparison with base line) and no significant changes in femoral-neck or total-body bone mineral density. The increase in bone mineral density in the alendronate group was greater than that in the placebo group at all measurement sites (P<0.001). The incidence of vertebral fractures was lower in the alendronate group than in the placebo group (0.8 percent vs. 7.1 percent, P=0.02). Men in the placebo group had a 2.4-mm decrease in height, as compared with a decrease of 0.6 mm in the alendronate group (P=0.02). Alendronate was generally well tolerated. Conclusions. In men with osteoporosis, alendronate significantly increases spine, hip, and total-body bone mineral density and helps prevent vertebral fractures and decreases in height. (C) 2000, Massachusetts Medical Society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-610
Number of pages7
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 31 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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