Although a few trials have explored whether bisphosphonates (BPs) prevented recurrent fragility fractures (FFs), little is known about the secondary preventative effects of BPs. Thus, we performed a meta-analysis to examine the effects of BPs on prevention of subsequent fractures, mortality, and on bone metabolic and functional parameters related to FF. We compared BP and control groups.

A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was conducted.

Twelve randomized controlled trials that included 5670 participants investigating the effects of BPs following FF were retrieved from PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library.

We performed a pairwise meta-analysis using fixed- and random-effects models.

BPs exhibited significant secondary preventative effects after FF compared with controls [overall standardized mean difference = 0.766; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.493-1.038; P <  .001]. The risks of subsequent fracture (odds ratio = 0.499; 95% CI 0.418-0.596; P <  .001) and mortality (odds ratio = 0.662; 95% CI 0.511-0.858; P = .002) decreased in the BP groups. Bone mineral density, bone turnover marker levels, pain at the fracture site, and health-related quality of life also differed significantly between the groups.

Our meta-analysis revealed that BPs administered after FF potentially prevented subsequent fractures and reduced mortality. Positive effects in terms of pain, quality of life, and increased bone mineral density and bone metabolism were also verified regardless of the fracture sites and the administration types (oral or intravenous). Therefore, more active BPs use is recommended to prevent recurrent fragility fractures.

Level I, meta-analysis.

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