Background Osteoporosis in women, especially after menopause, is associated with a high risk of fracture even with minimally traumatic events. The lifetime risk of osteoporotic fracture is as high as 50% in white and Asian women.
Objective Compare the efficacy of standard treatment for osteoporosis among females from different ethnic groups.
Method Retrospective study done in outpatient clinic follow-up in a community-based hospital, which caters to a multiethnic community in Brooklyn. Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian females between the ages of 60 and 80 years who had a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan and had a diagnosis of osteoporosis (T < −2.5) were started on calcium, vitamin D, and risedronate. A repeat DXA was done as follow-up in 2 years to see the response to treatment and was compared between the ethnic groups.
Results A total of 195 patients were included in the study: 50 Caucasians, 45 African Americans, 53 Hispanics, and 47 Asians. The average age was 68.3 years. T scores of the spines were compared in DXA scans done 2 years apart. On the first DXA scan, the Caucasian group had an average T score of −2.8; in Asians, it was −3.0; in the Hispanic group, it was −2.8; and for the African American group of patients, it was −2.6. Two years later, the DXA scan done showed an average T score of −0.8 for the Caucasians, −1.0 for the Asians, −1.0 for Hispanics, and −0.7 for the African Americans. All ethnic groups responded well to treatment; the responses by Caucasians and Asians were better than those of the Hispanics and African Americans but not statistically significant (p < .05).
Conclusion Patients with osteoporosis definitely need treatment to reduce the incidence of fracture. In our study, all ethnic groups showed equally remarkable improvement in their bone density with standard osteoporosis treatment.
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