Refracture risk and all-cause mortality after vertebral fragility fractures: Anti-osteoporotic medications matter

Ta Wei Tai, Yi Lun Tsai, Chien An Shih, Chia Chun Li, Yin Fan Chang, Chun Feng Huang, Tien Tsai Cheng, Jawl Shan Hwang, Tsung Hsueh Lu, Chih Hsing Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Osteoporotic vertebral fractures may predict the future occurrence of fractures and increase mortality. Treating underlying osteoporosis may prevent second fractures. However, whether anti-osteoporotic treatment can reduce the mortality rate is not clear. The aim of this population study was to identify the degree of decreased mortality following the use of anti-osteoporotic medication after vertebral fractures. Methods: We identified patients who had newly diagnosed osteoporosis and vertebral fractures from 2009 to 2019 using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). We used national death registration data to determine the overall mortality rate. Results: There were 59,926 patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures included in this study. After excluding patients with short-term mortality, patients who had previously received anti-osteoporotic medications had a lower refracture rate as well as a lower mortality risk (hazard ratio (HR): 0.84, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.81–0.88). Patients receiving treatment for more than 3 years had a much lower mortality risk (HR: 0.53, 95% CI: 0.50–0.57). Patients who used oral bisphosphonates (alendronate and risedronate, HR: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.90–1.00), intravenous zoledronic acid (HR: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.74–0.93), and subcutaneous denosumab injections (HR: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.65–0.77) had lower mortality rates than patients without further treatment after vertebral fractures. Conclusion: In addition to fracture prevention, anti-osteoporotic treatments for patients with vertebral fractures were associated with a reduction in mortality. A longer duration of treatment and the use of long-acting drugs was also associated with lower mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S65-S73
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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