BackgroundOsteoporosis is often considered to be a disease of women. Over the last few years, owing to the increasing clinical and economic burden, the awareness and imperative for identifying and managing osteoporosis in men have increased substantially. With the approval of agents to treat men with osteoporosis, more economic evaluations have been conducted to assess the potential economic benefits of these interventions. Despite this concern, there is no specific overview of cost-effectiveness analyses for the treatment of osteoporosis in men.
ObjectivesThis study aims (1) to systematically review economic evaluations of interventions for osteoporosis in men; (2) to critically appraise the quality of included studies and the source of model input data; and (3) to investigate the comparability of results for studies including both men and women.
MethodsA literature search mainly using MEDLINE (via Ovid) and Embase databases was undertaken to identify original articles published between 1 January, 2000 and 30 June, 2022. Studies that assessed the cost effectiveness of interventions for osteoporosis in men were included. The Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases and the International Osteoporosis Foundation osteoporosis-specific guideline was used to assess the quality of design, conduct, and reporting of included studies.
ResultsOf 2973 articles identified, 25 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria, classified into economic evaluations of active drugs (n = 8) or nutritional supplements (n = 4), intervention thresholds (n = 5), screening strategies (n = 6), and post-fracture care programs (n = 2). Most studies were conducted in European countries (n = 15), followed by North America (n = 9). Bisphosphonates (namely alendronate) and nutritional supplements were shown to be generally cost effective compared with no treatment in men over 60 years of age with osteoporosis or prior fractures. Two other studies suggested that denosumab was cost effective in men aged 75 years and older with osteoporosis compared with bisphosphates and teriparatide. Intervention thresholds at which bisphosphonates were found to be cost effective varied among studies with a 10-year probability of a major osteoporotic fracture that ranged from 8.9 to 34.2% for different age categories. A few studies suggested cost effectiveness of screening strategies and post-fracture care programs in men. Similar findings regarding the cost effectiveness of drugs and intervention thresholds in women and men were captured, with slightly greater incremental cost-effectiveness ratios in men. The quality of the studies included had an average score of 18.8 out of 25 (range 13-23.5). Hip fracture incidence and mortality risk were mainly derived from studies in men, while fracture cost, treatment efficacy, and disutility were commonly derived from studies in women or studies combining both sexes.
ConclusionsAnti-osteoporosis drugs and nutritional supplements are generally cost effective in men with osteoporosis. Screening strategies and post-fracture care programs also showed economic benefits for men. Cost-effectiveness and intervention thresholds were generally similar in studies conducted in both men and women, with slightly greater incremental cost-effectiveness ratios in men.