Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by compromised bone strength predisposing people to an increased risk of fracture. The disorder is most common among those older than 50, with an estimated prevalence of up to one in four women and one in eight men. Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs effective in reducing the risk of fractures and are used to prevent and treat osteoporosis.
This analysis of NPDUIS Database data from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. examines trends in the use of three bisphosphonates (etidronate, alendronate and risedronate) in seniors between 2001-2002 and 2006-2007.
During the study period, the age-sex standardized rate of bisphosphonate use across all provinces increased from 8.9% in 2001-2002, to 12.9% in 2006-2007. Use was highest among females and seniors older than 75. There was a significant shift from the use of daily to weekly therapies. Of daily bisphosphonate users in 2001-2002 who were still taking bisphosphonates in 2006-2007, 59.7% were on weekly bisphosphonate therapy in 2006-2007.
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