Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society


Alendronate; Bone Density Conservation Agents; Calcitonin; Denosumab; Humans; Male; Osteoporosis; Osteoporotic Fractures; Risedronic Acid; Spinal Fractures


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy of treatment options to reduce osteoporotic fracture risk in men.

DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

SETTING: Randomized clinical trials that evaluated the efficacy of a treatment for osteoporosis or low bone mineral density for adult men and reported fracture outcomes.


MEASUREMENTS: PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library databases were searched for relevant studies. Information was extracted from included studies on participant sociodemographic characteristics, number of male participants, treatment evaluated, comparator for evaluated treatment, study duration, and fracture outcomes. Risk of bias of individual studies was assessed using measures recommended by the Cochrane Collaboration.

RESULTS: Twenty-four articles reporting results for 22 studies (including 4,868 male participants) met strict inclusion criteria. Fixed-effects meta-analyses using the Mantel-Haenszel method demonstrated significantly lower risk of vertebral fractures with alendronate (relative risk (RR) = 0.328, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.155-0.692) and risedronate (RR = 0.428, 95% CI = 0.245-0.746) but not with calcitonin (RR = 0.272, 95% CI = 0.046-1.608) or denosumab (RR = 0.256, 95% CI = 0.029-2.238) than in controls. For bisphosphonates as a treatment category, meta-analyses demonstrated significantly lower risk of vertebral fractures (RR = 0.368, 95% CI = 0.252-0.537) and nonvertebral fractures (RR = 0.604, 95% CI = 0.404-0.904) than in controls. The meta-analysis finding that bisphosphonates significantly reduce nonvertebral fracture risk was not robust to sensitivity analysis.

CONCLUSION: Bisphosphonates reduce the risk of vertebral and possibly nonvertebral fractures for men with osteoporosis. Further studies are needed to evaluate the efficacy of bisphosphonates for reducing nonvertebral fracture risk and the efficacy of nonbisphosphonates for reducing vertebral and nonvertebral fracture risk in men with osteoporosis.

Clinical Institute

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine