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Few osteoporosis patients take optimal supplements

Less than half (43 per cent) of patients in Europe with osteoporosis may be taking both calcium and vitamin D supplements and patients in the UK are the lowest users, suggests new research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research held in Montreal, Canada, from 12–16 September 2008.

A quantitative survey conducted in December 2007 among 383 post-menopausal women aged 50 years and older who had been diagnosed and treated for osteoporosis across France, Germany, the UK and Spain revealed that patients in the UK were the lowest users of supplements.

Ninety per cent of the 94 patients surveyed in Spain said that they were taking some form of supplement (calcium alone, vitamin D alone or calcium and vitamin D) with their osteoporosis treatment compared with 61 per cent in the UK (n=94) and 69 per cent in France (n=97).

Some 82 per cent of those surveyed in the UK reported taking osteoporosis medicines regularly and correctly and 37 per cent said that they were taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.

Participants in the UK were also found to be the least likely to recognise the importance of calcium and vitamin D supplementation. Almost a third reported to have never discussed supplementation with their doctor.

Patrice Fardellone, CHU Amiens, France, who was involved in the research, commented: “The disparities between countries in attitudes to supplementation may be due to differences in cultures, national health policies or local disease awareness initiatives.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10033098

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