J Bone Metab.  2020 Aug;27(3):201-205. 10.11005/jbm.2020.27.3.201.

Physicians’ Attitudes on Management of Osteopenia in South Korea

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea


Osteopenia patients have a risk of fracture and may develop osteoporosis. We investigated physicians’ management of osteopenia patients in South Korea.
A survey was conducted using a questionnaire including 6 items: (1) do you think anti-osteoporosis medications are necessary in osteopenia patients?; (2) what is your preference to manage osteopenia patients, except for anti-osteoporosis medications?; (3) what is your indication for the anti-osteoporosis medication in osteopenia patients?; (4) what kind of anti-osteoporosis medication do you prefer to treat osteopenia patients?; (5) do you use bisphosphonates?; and (6) if not, what is the reason for not using?.
Among the 173 participants, 150 (86.7%) replied that anti-osteoporosis medications were necessary in osteopenia patients. Indications for the medication were (1) past medical history of pathologic fracture in 85 (49.1%); (2) T-score <-2.5 on dual energy X-ray absorptiometry in 73 (42.2%); (3) previous history of osteoporosis in 44 (25.4%); (4) risk of fracture according to fracture risk assessment tool in 34 (19.7%); and (5) progressive bone loss in 31 (17.9%). One hundred and sixteen (67.1%) favored bisphosphonates, 93 (53.8%) selective estrogen-receptor modulator, and 24 (13.9%) hormone replacement therapy. Thirty-one (17.9%) replied that they do not use bisphosphonates due to (1) restricted reimbursement by the health insurance in 24 (77.4%); and (2) bisphosphonate-related complications in 19 (61.3%).
Most respondents (86.7%) thought anti-osteoporosis medications were necessary in osteopenia patients, but 17.9% of the respondents did not use bisphosphonates. Restricted reimbursement by the national health insurance was the major obstacle against the use of bisphosphonates.


Bisphosphonates · Bone diseases · Metabolic · Osteopenia
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