Objective: This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of adding the bisphosphonate alendronate (ALEN) to ongoing hormone therapy (HT) on bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal Korean women.
Methods: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial at a university hospital included a total of 139 postmenopausal women who had low BMD after HT lasting at least 1 year. Women received either ALEN (10 mg/d) or placebo in combination with HT for 1 year. Changes in BMD and biochemical markers of bone turnover were evaluated.
Results: Lumbar spine and total hip BMDs increased significantly in both treatment groups after 1 year. The addition of ALEN, when compared with HT alone, did not produce a significant change in BMD at the lumbar spine (3.7% vs 4.3%) and total hip (2.2% vs 3.2%) after adjusting for controllable variables. Serum osteocalcin showed a similar change, but urinary deoxypyridinoline response differed between treatment groups.
Conclusions: Compared with HT alone, the addition of ALEN to ongoing HT for 1 year does not make a difference in BMD among postmenopausal Korean women with low BMD.