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Management of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women: 2010 position statement of The North American Menopause Society

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181c617e6
Position Statement

Objective: To update the evidence-based position statement published by The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in 2006 regarding the management of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

Methods: NAMS followed the general principles established for evidence-based guidelines to create this updated document. A panel of clinicians and researchers expert in the field of metabolic bone diseases and/or women's health was enlisted to review the 2006 NAMS position statement, compile supporting statements, and reach consensus on recommendations. The panel's recommendations were reviewed and approved by the NAMS Board of Trustees.

Results: Osteoporosis, which is especially prevalent among older postmenopausal women, increases the risk of fractures. Hip and spine fractures are associated with particularly high morbidity and mortality in this population. Given the health implications of osteoporotic fractures, the primary goal of osteoporosis therapy is to prevent fractures, which is accomplished by slowing or stopping bone loss, maintaining bone strength, and minimizing or eliminating factors that may contribute to fractures. The evaluation of postmenopausal women for osteoporosis risk requires a medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. Major risk factors for postmenopausal osteoporosis (as defined by bone mineral density) include advanced age, genetics, lifestyle factors (such as low calcium and vitamin D intake, smoking), thinness, and menopause status. The most common risk factors for osteoporotic fracture are advanced age, low bone mineral density, and previous fracture as an adult. Management focuses first on nonpharmacologic measures, such as a balanced diet, adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, adequate exercise, smoking cessation, avoidance of excessive alcohol intake, and fall prevention. If pharmacologic therapy is indicated, government-approved options are bisphosphonates, selective estrogen-receptor modulators, parathyroid hormone, estrogens, and calcitonin.

Conclusions: Management strategies for postmenopausal women involve identifying those at risk for fracture, followed by instituting measures that focus on reducing modifiable risk factors through dietary and lifestyle changes and, if indicated, pharmacologic therapy.

In response to recent advances in the management and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis, The North American Menopause Society has made significant additions and modifications to its 2006 position statement.

Received October 13, 2009; revised and accepted October 13, 2009.

The Board of Trustees of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) developed this manuscript with assistance from an Editorial Board composed of Sydney L. Bonnick MD, FACP; Steven T. Harris MD, FACP; David L. Kendler MD, FRCPC; Michael R. McClung, MD; and Stuart L. Silverman, MD, FACP, FACR. It was edited, modified, and subsequently approved by the NAMS Board of Trustees on September 25, 2009.

Funding/support: The development of this position statement was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the Alliance for Better Bone Health, a collaboration between Warner Chilcott plc and its affiliates and sanofi-aventis (US).

Address correspondence to: NAMS, P.O. Box 94527, Cleveland, OH 44101, USA. E-mail:

©2010The North American Menopause Society