The evidence supporting the use of antiresorptive and anabolic agents for fracture prevention in elderly patients is still inconclusive. Whether it is too late to alter the course of the disease in this age-group has remained uncertain.
The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy and safety of antiresorptive and anabolic agents in elderly patients.
PubMed, Web of Science, MEDLINE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and post hoc analyses of RCTs reporting efficacy outcomes or adverse events of antiresorptive and anabolic agents in elderly patients. Statistical heterogeneity was assessed with the Cochran Q χ2 test and I2 statistic. All results were expressed as relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
The meta-analysis included 1 RCT and 11 post hoc analyses of data from 10 double-blind placebo-controlled RCTs. Antiresorptive therapy significantly reduced the pooled incidence of vertebral fractures (RR = 0.43; 95% CI = 0.35-0.53; and p < 0.001). It was also associated with lower risk of nonvertebral and hip fractures (RR = 0.84; 95% CI = 0.74-0.96; and p = 0.009 and RR = 0.75; 95% CI = 0.58-0.97; and p = 0.028, respectively). For any adverse events, no difference was observed between antiresorptive agents and placebo groups (RR = 1.01; 95% CI = 1.00-1.02; and p = 0.23).
Both antiresorptive and anabolic agents represented potentially important osteoporosis treatments, showing significant effects on reducing vertebral, nonvertebral, or hip fracture risk, and were well-tolerated by elderly patients. Even in the elderly, maybe it is not too late to alter the course of the disease.

© 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel.