Feature Article

Osteoporosis in postmenopausal women: key aspects of prevention and treatment

Angela Sheu, Jacqueline Center



Osteoporosis is a common and costly condition that has significant morbidity and mortality after a fracture. Despite robust evidence that treatment reduces the risk of future fractures, many people in Australia are not adequately treated. This review covers our current understanding of prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women in Australia.

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Key Points

  • All patients with osteoporosis should be reviewed with regard to modifiable factors and use of nonpharmacological therapies.
  • Calcium supplementation is recommended for patients with low dietary calcium intake after discussion of the potential risks.
  • Vitamin D supplementation is recommended to maintain vitamin D sufficiency.
  • Antiresorptive therapies (bisphosphonates and denosumab) are highly effective in reducing vertebral, hip and nonvertebral fractures and have a safe adverse effect profile.
  • Hormone-related therapies are a good alternative for women in the perimenopausal or early postmenopausal stages.
  • Teriparatide is the only anabolic therapy currently available in Australia.

    Picture credit: © Antonia Reeve/SPL