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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Hormone replacement therapy and prevention of vertebral fractures: a meta-analysis of randomised trials

David J Torgerson* and Sally EM Bell-Syer

Author Affiliations

Department of Health Studies, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2001, 2:7  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-2-7

Published: 6 November 2001



Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is often seen as the treatment of choice for preventing fractures in women. We undertook a recent meta-analysis of randomised trials which suggested that HRT reduced non-vertebral fractures by 30%. In this analysis we extend that analysis to vertebral fractures.


We searched the main electronic databases until the end of August 2001. We sought all randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of HRT where women had been randomised to at least 12 months of HRT or to no HRT.


We found 13 RCTs. Overall there was a 33% reduction in vertebral factures (95% confidence interval (CI) 45% to 98%).


This review and meta-analysis showed a significant reduction in vertebral fractures associated with HRT use.