Osteoporosis: clinical guidelines for prevention and treatment

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These guidelines were published in 1999.

Osteoporosis is now recognised to be a disease of major importance. It is common in our society and affects approximately 40% of women over 70 years of age. Its major consequences are associated with significant morbidity, and hip fractures alone account for more than 20% of orthopaedic bed occupancy.

These guidelines were produced on the recommendation of the Department of Health Advisory Group on Osteoporosis. They were written by a group of experts and reviewed by a consensus workshop. The guidelines are the first definitive, evidence-based guide to preventing and managing osteoporosis. They are presented in a format designed to be accessible to health care commissioners and providers (primary care and specialist) as well as patient and lay groups and will also be of value to those involved in research.

The guidelines are in two parts: The first part includes an account of the various methods of identifying those at risk of, or diagnosing those with, osteoporosis, and clinical guidelines for its prevention and treatment in both women and men. Graded levels of evidence are given for the recommendations made. The second part comprises a comprehensive resource database of randomised trials.


  • Background
  • Summary and recommendations
  • Methodology
  • The clinical problem
  • Prevention of osteoporosis
  • Treatment of osteoporosis
  • Management of osteoporotic fractures
  • Strategic considerations (including the economic perspective of treatment and guidelines for the use of HRT)
  • Recommendations to commissioners of health care services
  • Appendices
  • Literature methodology
  • Medicine search strategy
  • Non-skeletal aspects of HRT
  • Supplement: A resource database of randomised controlled trials in osteoporosis

Copies available on request.

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