Lege Artis Medicinae

[The concept of adherence and its significance in osteoporosis]


MAY 20, 2011

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2011;21(05)

[Today, in relation to the economical aspects of medical therapies, the patterns of patients’ drug taking have come into focus. One of the important indicators is adherence, which consists of four different concepts concerning faithfulness to therapy: acceptance, concordance, persistance and compliance. In chronic diesases, medical therapy without a certain degree of adherence is no more useful than no therapy at all. A number of international clinical studies show that in osteoporosis, the therapy can only lead to a decrease in the number of fracture in case of sufficient adherence.]



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[The modern disciplines of diagnosing and treating back pain]


[The author presents the recommendations of international guidelines in the modern diagnosis and treatment of low back pain. Regarding diagnosis, it is very important to differentiate between “specific” and “aspecific” or “nonspecific” low back pain. The term “specific low back pain” includes all diseases and pathologies with well-defined aetiology and pathological process, including bacterial spondylitis, rheumatic spondylarthropathies, primary or secondary tumours, malignancies, myelon- or cauda equine compression, paresis, metabolic base diseases, pathological or nonpathological fractures are suspected. The presence of so called “red flags” indicate“specific” low back pain. This type of low back pain requires quick and precise diagnosis and specific treatment. All other kinds of low back pain, even those with very painful radiculopathy, and without paresis, cauda- or myelon compression can be considered as aspecific, even if caused by a herniated disc, because there is no absolute indication of discectomy. In case of aspecific low back pain, there is no need of any diagnostic imaging methods, because they would not influence treatment. The main points of treatment are to keep the patient active, quick mobilisation with appropriate analgesia and antiinflammatory treatment following no more than 2-3 days of bed rest, and return to work as soon as possible, with easier work conditions if needed. The longer the patient is on sick leave, the higher the risk he or she will never return to work. If initial active treatment is not is effective enough, the patient's case should be reassessed in 3-6 weeks. If a herniated disc is suspected, the necessary imaging methods should be performed, and the patient should be operated if necessary. With this method, chronic, disabling low back pain can be avoided in many cases. The danger of developing chronic low back pain are indicated by the so called “yellow flags”: dissatisfaction with work, allowance claim, insufficient and even false ideas about the causes and consequences of low back pain, fear, anxiety, depression. These problems can be alleviated by the positive athmosphere of the workplace, appropriate patient education, activity, anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs, activity and regular exercise.]

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Related contents


[Evaluation of quality of life following treatment with calcitonin nasal spray in patients with osteoporosis: preliminary results of the MERLIN study]


[INTRODUCTION - MERLIN (Management of Osteoporosis in Elderly with Calcitonin) is an open-label, multicenter, prospective, follow-up study conducted in Hungary, part of which is to assess the impact of treatment with Miacalcic, - an intranasal salmon calcitonin, on the quality of life (QoL) among patients with osteoporosis. In this paper we report the preliminary results of the MERLIN study. PATIENTS - The study initially involved 1949 senior patients (aged >65 years) to whom calcitonin was prescribed for osteoporosis according to the application instructions. Patients presented at outpatient clinics and consisted of two groups; they were either newly diagnosed or they had been receiving a therapy for osteoporosis other than calcitonin. METHODS - This latter group discontinued their previous treatment and all patients received 200 IU intranasal salmon calcitonin (SCT) once daily for three months. Patient and physician questionnaires were used to collect information on the patients' QoL (EQ-5D VAS) and their general well-being at baseline and at follow-up visits at week 4 and week 12. RESULTS - Calcitonin use was associated with improvements in all EQ-5D domains and component scores as well as in VAS. Patients with previously known osteoporosis who, switched to calcitonin therapy achieved better results (0,046 QALY), than the newly diagnosed patients (0,0405 QALY). CONCLUSIONS - We conclude that intranasal SCT 200 IU daily is safe and effective in improving QoL of both, male and female patients with low bone mineral density.The conclusions that can be drawn from this study are limited due to the lack of a control group and to the unblinded design. Further placebo-controlled studies are needed to confirm these results. Nevertheless, our study was the first in Hungary to evaluate the quality of life impact of an osteoporosis treatment, and hopefully it will be followed by more such studies directed to other osteoporosis treatments.]


[Bone metabolism and body mass index in postmenopausal women]

TÁRCZY Csaba, TOLDY Erzsébet, SZERB János, VARGA László

[INTRODUCTION - In addition to several other causes constitutional factors play an important role in the development of osteoporosis.Various aspects of bone metabolism were examined to explain the differences in bone density between women with low and high body mass index (BMI). PATIENTS AND METHOD - One hundred and ninetytwo postmenopausal women were included in the study. Bone density was measured by forearm densitometry.To assess bone formation, serum osteocalcin levels were measured, while the rate of bone absorption was estimated from C-terminal telopeptide levels of collagen type I measured in urine and blood. RESULTS - The prevalence of osteoporosis was higher in women with low BMI than in those with normal or higher BMI. Bone metabolism - both formation and absorption - was increased in both groups, however, in women with low BMI this increase was more pronounced and bone metabolism tended to be shifted to absorption compared to patients with normal or higher BMI. CONCLUSION - Postmenopausal lean women have accelerated bone metabolism compared to obese women. This fact and the shift to absorption may be the main reasons for the higher frequency of osteoporosis found by densitometry in women with low BMI than in those with higher BMI.]


[Bone mineral density and diabetes mellitus - First results]


[INTRODUCTION - Data on bone mineral density (BMD) in diabetes mellitus are contradictory in the literature. Early studies described a decreased bone mineral density in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), but recent studies report no osteopenia in T1DM.The BMD may depend on the quality of treatment for diabetes mellitus and on the presence of chronic complications. In type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) the BMD is not decreased, occasionally it can even be increased. PATIENTS AND METHODS - Bone mineral density was measured in 122 regularly controlled diabetic patients (T1DM: n=73, mean age: 43.6±11.1 years,T2DM: n=49, mean age: 61.8±9.8 years) by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry at the lumbar spine and at the femur. Results were compared to those of 40 metabolically healthy control persons with a mean age of 47.5±11.9 years.The patients’ carbohydrate metabolism was assessed by the average HbA1c level of the last three years.These values were 7.9±1.4 % in T1DM, and 7.5±1.7 % in T2DM. BMDs were classified based on the T-score and Z-score using the WHO criteria. RESULTS - There was no significant difference in T1DM or in T2DM compared to the reference group in the prevalence of either osteoporosis or of osteoporosis and osteopenia combined. CONCLUSION - BMD was not found to be decreased in patients with well-controlled metabolism compared to healthy controls.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Cardiovascular prevention in hypertensive patients - use an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or an angiotensin receptor blocker?]

BARNA István

[The primary aim of cardiovascular prevention is to reach adequate blood pressure control. To prevent the development of target organ lesion it is essential to use long-acting, well tolerable drugs without significant side effects. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are popular and excellent preparations but their side effects reduce life long patient compliance. Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are effective drugs having unique tolerability and a capability to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality to the same extent as the ACE inhibitors. Especially high risk patients benefit from their combination with thiazide diuretics or with calcium channel blockers. Clinical trials proved that telmisartan can be safely given and well tolerable alone or in combination to high risk cardiovascular patients, in heart and renal, peripheral vascular and cerebrovascular diseases combined or not with diabetes.]

Lege Artis Medicinae


NAGY László

[Controlled clinical studies on statins have produced evidence that the aggressive lowering of LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) level reduces the mortality rate of ischaemic heart disease. About 40% of treated patients achieve the cholesterol target level. The observance of medication instructions on a daily basis (compliance) and willingness for long-term taking of the drug (persistence) are crucially important to avoid severe complications. In the long term, patients take only about 50% of their medicines according to the instructions. As a result of the generally poor compliance and persistence in taking the medications, the decrease in morbidity and mortality observed in clinical studies do not occur under real-life conditions. Patients with poor compliance (<80%) will experience only a minimal health benefit and the cost-effectiveness of the therapy will markedly decrease. For patients with poor persistence who discontinue their treatment before benefits at the clinical endpoints could manifest, the resources invested into the therapy will be lost. Both compliance and persistence deteriorate as the number of concurrently taken medicines increases. Since less than 50% of the programmes aimed at improving patient co-operation are successful, therapeutic decisions should preferably be made by taking into consideration the expected compliance/persistence already at the time of choosing the medication. By widening the use of fixed-dose combination therapies, the efficiency of treatment can substantially be increased in patients who concurrently take several medicines and require aggressive lowering of blood pressure or LDL-C level.]