Clinical Research

Reversal of postmenopausal vertebral bone loss by oestrogen and progestogen: a double blind placebo controlled study

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.296.6630.1150 (Published 23 April 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:1150
  1. N Munk-Jensen,
  2. S Pors Nielsen,
  3. E B Obel,
  4. P Bonne Eriksen

    Abstract

    Because of uncertainty about the place of hormones in the treatment of postmenopausal bone loss vertebral and forearm bone loss was measured by absorptiometry in early post-menopausal women before and after continuous or sequential treatment with combined oestrogen and progestogen in a double blind placebo controlled trial. Treatment with hormones significantly reversed the vertebral bone loss. The net gain in vertebral bone density amounted to 6·4% a year with continuous supplementation and 5·4% a year with sequential supplementation; the net gain in forearm bone density was lower (3·6% with continuous and 3·7% with sequential supplementation).

    Before a policy of supplementation with hormones can be recommended to all postmenopausal women with the aim of reducing the incidence of vertebral crush fractures further studies with different doses and combinations of hormones, administered over several years, are needed.