Background Both bisphosphonates and testosterone are known to improve bone mineral density (BMD) in men with low bone mass, but whether combination therapy is superior to these agents used alone is not clear. We compared the changes in lumbar spine BMD when men with low bone mass were treated with each agent alone or as combination therapy.
Methods In a retrospective study, we analyzed serum and BMD data from 149 men who had been evaluated in the Endocrinology Clinic at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Dallas, Texas. The subjects were divided into three cohorts: 59 men receiving testosterone therapy alone, 68 men receiving alendronate therapy alone, and 22 receiving combination therapy.
Results Compared with the baseline values, the lumbar spine and BMD increased significantly in each of the testosterone, alendronate, and combination therapy cohorts (median annualized rate of change: 2.1% [p < .001], 2.6% [p < .001], and 2.5% [p = .04], respectively). The combination therapy group did not demonstrate any additional increase in BMD at the lumbar spine or total hip compared with either agent alone. The results did not change after adjusting for differences in baseline weight, age, BMD, or baseline testosterone level.
Conclusion The results suggest that the combination of testosterone and alendronate does not appear to be superior to single-drug therapy in our patient population.
- bone density
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