National trends in osteoporosis medication use among Medicare beneficiaries with and without Alzheimer’s disease/related dementias

Peyton Armstrong, Yong Fang Kuo, Peter Cram, Jordan Westra, Mukaila A. Raji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Osteoporotic fractures are a leading cause of disability and premature death in the elderly. Patients with Alzheimer’s and related dementia (ADRD) have high rates of osteoporosis (OP) and substantial risk of osteoporotic fractures. Yet research is sparse on trends and predictors of OP medication use in ADRD. Methods: Medicare beneficiaries with OP aged ≥ 67 years have Medicare parts A/B/D without HMO from 2016 to 2018. Our outcome was receipt of OP medications in 2018. A multivariable logistic regression assessed association between ADRD and OP drug prescribing, adjusted for age, sex, race, region, Medicare entitlement, dual Medicaid eligibility, chronic conditions, number of provider visits/hospitalizations, and nursing home (NH) resident status. Age/ADRD and NH residency/ADRD interactions were tested. Results: Our sample consisted of 47,871 people with OP and ADRD and 201,840 with OP without ADRD. OP drug use was 38.6% in ADRD patients vs. 52.7% in non-ADRD. After adjustment for demographics, chronic conditions, and previous hospitalizations/physician visits, the OR for OP drug in ADRD vs. non-ADRD was 0.85 (95% CI: 0.83–0.87). NH residents had lower odds for OP medication (OR: 0.61, 95% CI: 0.58–0.64). There were significant interactions between ADRD and age, and between ADRD and NH residency. The OR for OP drug use associated with ADRD was 0.88 (95% CI: 0.86–0.90) among community-dwelling elders and 0.66 (95% CI: 0.64–0.69) among NH residents. Conclusions: ADRD patients received OP drugs at a lower rate than their non-ADRD counterparts. More research is needed on when to prescribe or deprescribe OP drugs in the context of different ADRD severity, patient preferences, remaining life expectancy, and time-to-benefit from OP drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-733
Number of pages9
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Dementia
  • Fragility fracture
  • Geriatric medicine
  • Nursing home
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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