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Ability to follow drug treatment with calcium and vitamin D in postmenopausal women with reduced bone mass

de Castro Gomes, Débora Alessandra MD; Valadares, Ana Lúcia Ribeiro MD, PhD; Pinto-Neto, Aarão Mendes MD, PhD; Morais, Sirlei Siani MS; Costa-Paiva, Lúcia MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e318247e86a
Original Articles

Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of women with reduced bone mass to follow calcium/vitamin D treatment in relation to prescribed regimen, dose, indication, mode of intake, and the associated factors.

Methods A cross-sectional study of postmenopausal women taking medication after bone mineral density diagnosis of osteopenia or osteoporosis was conducted using the MedTake questionnaire. A total of 186 patients attending a menopause clinic were studied. Sociodemographic characteristics, history of comorbid conditions, concomitant use of medication, length of medication use, and ability to follow treatment in relation to prescribed regimen, dose, indication, and mode of ingestion were assessed.

Results The mean (SD) age of the women analyzed was 61.6 (8.21) years. The mean time since menopause was 16.8 years. Most women reported having difficulty reading, and 79% were white. The ability to follow treatment, evaluated using MedTake, was lower than 60% in most women. Taking the wrong dose was the most frequent error. The only factor associated with inadequate treatment was the use of concomitant medication (odds ratio, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.06-5.08).

Conclusions The ability to follow adjuvant calcium and vitamin D treatment for decreased bone mass is low and associated with concomitant use of medication.

From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Universidade Estadual de Campinas–UNICAMP School of Medicine, Campinas, SP, Brazil.

Received October 23, 2011; revised and accepted December 22, 2011.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Lúcia Costa-Paiva, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UNICAMP School of Medicine, PO Box 6111, University Estadual de Campinas–UNICAMP, 1383-970 Campinas, SP, Brazil. E-mail:

©2012The North American Menopause Society